Swallowing Studies/Manometry

Your Manometry Procedure


Esophageal manometry (muh-NOM-uh-tree) is a test that shows whether your esophagus (“food pipe”) is working properly. Manometry testing measures the strength and function of the muscles in your esophagus that work to push food and liquids from the mouth down to the stomach.  Manometry testing is done without sedation.

Your doctor may order a manometry test if you have one or more of the following signs/symptoms:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Cough
  • Nausea after eating
  • Esophageal reflux (stomach contents regurgitate or back up/reflux into the esophagus)
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Diseases that can impair normal esophagus function

During esophageal manometry, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) that contains sensors is passed through your nose, down your esophagus and into your stomach. Professional medical staff will prepare you for the procedure by applying cream inside your nostrils to ease passage of a flexible tube. A thin tube will be passed through your nose, down the esophagus and into your stomach. You might experience some discomfort during insertion, but the tube doesn’t affect your breathing and only takes about a minute to place. Once inserted, the tube causes little discomfort. The end of the tube that protrudes from the nose is attached to a machine that measures the test’s results. The tube is inserted while you are seated, but then you will lie reclined during the test and swallow small sips of water to measure swallowing movement through the esophagus. 

The test takes about 25 minutes, and it is important to breathe slowly, remain still and follow the nurse’s instructions.  Results go to your doctor for further interpretation.

Preparing for Your Swallowing Test

You will receive a phone call from an Ohio Valley Endoscopy nurse.  The nurse will obtain a basic health history and will review instructions for preparing for your manometry test.  It is very important that you speak with an Ohio Valley Endoscopy nurse before the date of your test.

Before your manometry test, you should follow these important safety rules which are critical to your

well-being. If you do not follow these guidelines, your test may be delayed or canceled.

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before your test, unless you are instructed otherwise. This includes food, liquids, water, candy, gum or breath mints.
  • It is OK to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth the day of your exam.  Do not swallow.


  • If you take insulin or any other routine medication, your physician or an Ohio Valley Endoscopy nurse will tell you how to take your medicine the day of your exam.
  • You should take your blood pressure, breathing or seizure medication the morning of your procedure with a small sip of water.

PLEASE NOTE: Failure to follow these instructions can cause complications.

The Day of Your Manometry Test

If you are unable to keep your appointment or you are delayed, please contact Ohio Valley immediately at 937-240-1471. 

  • Do not wear any jewelry or bring valuables with you on the day of your test.
  • Bring your driver’s license/identification card and health insurance cards/forms with you.
  • Depending on your insurance, you may also be asked to bring your copay, coinsurance or deductible.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes and loose, comfortable clothing that are easy to put on, take off and that can be easily folded.
  • Please review the Patient Rights and Responsibilities which are located at the Ohio Valley Reception Desk and on our website at

During your phone call with the Ohio Valley Endoscopy nurse, you will be instructed what time to arrive at Ohio Valley.  Please check in at the front desk when you arrive.  After you register, you will be escorted back to the Endoscopy Suite to have your vital signs taken. 

After your manometry test is completed, you will be free to go home. 


Patients who are not candidates for the manometry test include:

  1. Patients with blood clotting problems
  2. Patients with ulcers, strictures, esophageal varices and Zenker’s Diverticula