Esophageal Manometry (Motility Study) in Washington

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Esophageal motility studies at Washington Gastroenterology are tests performed to evaluate the contractile function of the esophagus. To complete the study, a slim and pliable tube will be inserted through the nose into the esophagus. This form of motility exam might be conducted prior to esophageal surgery or to help determine the cause of the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Regurgitation
  • Severe gastroesophageal reflux
  • Esophageal spasm
  • Trouble with swallowing

To meet with a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist who can administer an esophageal manometry procedure or motility study in Washington, please get in touch with a nearby gastroenterology practice in your community.

You will receive instructions and information from your Washington Gastroenterology provider regarding the necessary steps to follow to prepare for the esophageal motility test. In most cases, patients will be allowed to eat normally the day prior to the exam. Individuals will be advised not to consume anything by mouth after midnight, with the exception of medications. It is extremely critical to comply with the information and instructions given to you by your provider. Further instructions concerning any medicines you take will also be discussed. Most of the time, your medication regimen will not change. For some patients, however, especially in patients on anticoagulants (for example, Coumadin®, warfarin, Plavix®, aspirin, and anti-inflammatories) and in diabetics, specific instructions will be provided.

You will be instructed to enter the endoscopy facility 30 minutes before your evaluation. This allows time to complete paperwork and undergo preparations for the esophageal motility test.

Upon entering the treatment room, you will need to lie on an exam table. One of your nostrils will be numbed with a numbing gel. The nurse will then gently place a thin catheter into the nose. As the catheter is positioned into the esophagus, you will be prompted to swallow to open up the esophageal area. The nurse will adjust the catheter to assess the squeeze of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. The nurse will then measure the contractile ability of the muscles of the body of the esophagus. At this portion of the test, you will be required to drink 10 – 20 small sips of water. After completing this, you will have finished the exam, and the tube will be withdrawn. In most instances, the test will last about 30 – 60 minutes.

Since no sedation is administered for the test, you will be free to exit the endoscopy center as soon as you finish. In most instances, patients can resume their regular eating habits after discharge from the endoscopy unit; however, our team will give detailed instructions about medications, physical activity, and eating before discharge.

Since the computer program must create graphs and charts from the input obtained during your study, the test results will not be ready to read while you are still at the endoscopy center. The provider will interpret your test results at a later time. You will likely hear from your provider at our Washington practice within one week with your esophageal manometry evaluation findings.

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Esophageal motility testing is considered to be a safe procedure. Treatment complications are seen in less than 1% of individuals. Most complications are not life-threatening; however, should a complication develop, it could result in surgery and a hospital stay. Before the exam, the healthcare staff at Washington Gastroenterology will discuss a consent form with the patient.

Piercing or perforation of the esophagus can occur but is a highly unlikely complication. This could be detected during the study, or it might not be found until further into the day. Most of the time, a perforation will result in surgery and a hospital stay.

It is crucial that the patient contact the provider’s office promptly if any symptoms or issues arise in the wake of the exam, including worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.

As with any other test, an esophageal motility assessment is not perfect. There exists a small, acknowledged risk that abnormalities may be overlooked during the exam. We urge you to continue to visit your medical provider per their recommendations and inform them of any ongoing or new issues.

To some extent, any alternatives to the test will be based on the reason for needing an esophageal motility test. In most instances, the esophageal motility evaluation is the ideal way to observe the contractile function of the esophagus. Although, an x-ray image called an esophagram, by itself or in conjunction with a barium swallow/upper GI, can additionally evaluate the esophagus.

If you or a family member has issues such as regurgitation, chest pain, or trouble swallowing, an esophageal motility assessment can help your provider better understand the problem and determine the best way to address it. To locate a provider to receive this test, please contact Washington Gastroenterology. As a physician-led group of gastroenterologists, we work with a patient-first approach that allows us to provide the utmost clinical standards. To learn more about esophageal manometry in Washington, please get in touch with an office near you today.

Staff Very professional, Friendly, keep you informed throughout the whole process.

R.R. Google

Dr. Yee was efficient, answered all of my questions, and ensured someone followed up with me after my procedure. Procedure room staff were friendly and explained their roles and activities as they performed them.

S.M. Google

My husband had a colonoscopy there. Very efficient office and surgical staff . Recommend them.

P.E. Google

Very capable, knowledgeable, and professional doctor.

L.G. Google

Dr. Brown is a knowledgeable doctor. He explained procedures, courses of action and expectations with me and he did not rush through the visit. I recommend him as a doctor.

R.O. Google


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