Patient instructions for esophageal manometry study

You are scheduled for an esophageal manometry study. Esophageal manometry is a test which measures how well the muscles in your esophagus (food pipe) work to push food and liquids from your mouth into your stomach. The procedure takes approximately one hour. At the start of the test, you will be sitting upright. One nostril is numbed with a numbing lubricant. A thin, soft catheter is passed through your nostril, down the back of your throat, and into your esophagus and stomach as you swallow. With the catheter in your esophagus, you will lie on your back with your head up. During the test you will be asked to swallow small sips of water. While you are swallowing, the strength of your esophageal muscles will be measured. The esophagus consists of three main parts:  the upper sphincter (throat), the middle esophagus (food pipe), and the lower sphincter. After the test is complete, you may resume your normal diet and medications.

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment for registration. If you are unable to keep your appointment, you must cancel at least 48 hours in advance or you will be referred back to your primary care physician.


  • Do NOT eat or drink anything six hours before the test.
  • Only take medications that need to be taken regularly, such as blood pressure and heart medication with a sip of water on the morning of your test.
  • If you have diabetes, skipping breakfast may affect your need for diabetic medication. Check with your primary care provider to ask how much medication should be taken when fasting.
  • Certain medications affect the muscles of your esophagus and should not be taken the day of the procedure, but may be taken immediately after the test. These medications include all pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, antispasmotics and promotility medications.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Gastroenterology Unit, Monday - Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 916-734-5561.