If you have swallowing problems or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, it’s critical to determine what’s causing your symptoms so you can get appropriate treatment. Board-certified gastroesophageal surgeons Marc Ward, MD, and Steven Leeds, MD, offer manometry to diagnose esophageal motility disorders at the Center for Advanced Surgery in Dallas, Plano, and Tyler, Texas. Call the office or schedule a manometry appointment online today if you’re having trouble swallowing.
Manometry is a test to evaluate your esophageal function. Your esophagus is a muscular tube that contracts to move food from your mouth into your stomach. If your esophagus doesn’t work correctly, you can have trouble swallowing.
The team at the Center for Advanced Surgery offers manometry to diagnose the cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or swallowing problems.
For example, if you have trouble swallowing or experience pain while swallowing, manometry can help identify what’s causing your symptoms. It also can identify the cause of heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.
Your doctor might use manometry to diagnose conditions such as:
Diffuse esophageal spasm is a swallowing disorder. Your esophageal muscles should contract like a wave to push food into your stomach. Diffuse esophageal spasm causes multiple, poorly coordinated contractions in those muscles, making it difficult to swallow.
Achalasia occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t open normally to allow food to enter your stomach. As a result, swallowing is painful, and you frequently regurgitate food.
Scleroderma is a rare but progressive disease that occurs when your esophageal muscles stop working. It can lead to severe GERD symptoms.
Your doctor at the Center for Advanced Surgery provides personalized preparation instructions during a thorough consultation before your procedure. In general, you should avoid eating or drinking for several hours before your test.
You should also provide your doctor with a list of medications, vitamins, or supplements you take. They might ask you to stop taking certain medicines for a short time before your manometry test.
Your doctor begins by spraying your throat with a numbing medication. Then, while you sit upright, they guide a thin catheter into your esophagus. The catheter doesn’t interfere with your breathing. You might feel some pressure, and the catheter could trigger your gag reflex.
When the catheter is in place, you lie down, and your doctor gives you small sips of water. The device records the pressure, speed, and patterns of your esophageal movements. You need to breathe regularly and only swallow when asked to take a sip of water.
When the test is complete, your doctor removes the device, and you can go home. You don’t need any downtime, although some patients develop a sore throat or mild nosebleeds for a short time after manometry.
If you have trouble swallowing or signs of GERD, call the Center for Advanced Surgery or make an appointment online today for expert testing, including manometry.