Esophagus
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The esophagus is a long, muscular tube that propels food from the mouth to the stomach. There is a strong ring-like muscle at the top of the esophagus called the UES (upper esophageal sphincter) and one at the bottom called the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). 

In its normal state, the LES is in a closed position preventing stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus (this condition is called reflux). During the process of swallowing, the LES will open allowing food and liquids into the stomach.  

Damage to the esophagus could occur if:

  • The LES opens at times other than swallowing
  • The LES does not close completely

To correct these conditions, a procedure called esophageal manometry is used.

Why esophageal manometry is performed

Your doctor may want you to have this test because you have:

  • Symptoms of difficult or painful swallowing
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Chronic heartburn for which you are now considering surgery as an alternative to continued medication

Preparation for the procedure

Discuss with your doctor the use of any medications prior to the study. Do not eat or drink anything by mouth for six hours before the procedure.

The day of the test

  • Arrive at Sinai-Grace Hospital one half-hour prior to your scheduled appointment.
  • Enter through the main lobby of the hospital.
  • Report to the outpatient surgical registration desk.
  • You may come alone and drive yourself after the test.

How the test is performed

Your test will be performed by a specially trained board-certified gastroenterology nurse who will be assisted by a trained technician. You will NOT be sedated during the procedure, which will last approximately 40 minutes. You should try not to talk, laugh or swallow during the test unless requested.

You will be placed in a comfortable, semi-sitting position on a stretcher. The inside of your nose will be numbed with a medicated gel to minimize discomfort with the catheter placement.  A small catheter will be passed through your nose and positioned in your stomach.

During the course of the study you will be asked to take deep breaths or swallow a number of times. The pressure resulting from these movements will be detected and recorded by tiny sensors located on the catheter. The recording will be transferred to a report for review and interpretation by your doctor.

After the test

Because you will not be sedated, you will be free to drive yourself home. Unless otherwise indicated by your doctor, you may resume eating and taking your medications immediately following the test. Your doctor will have the results of your test within a couple of days.


If you have any questions about DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital endoscopy services, please call 313-966-6969. For questions about DMC Lahser Ambulatory Center endoscopy services, call 248-359-5575.