Your throat consists of several muscles and tissues that help move food and liquids from your mouth to your stomach. These structures can be weakened or damaged due to some conditions. They may prevent fluids and food from moving down your throat like usual.
Fortunately, a procedure called esophageal manometry can help determine the cause of these blockages. Let’s learn more about this treatment procedure and where you can go to receive one in California.
What Is Esophageal Manometry?
Esophageal manometry is a test to measure the function of the muscles in your throat and lower esophagus. A gastrointestinal doctor or specialist known as a gastroenterologist will perform the procedure.
The test can help diagnose functional problems such as the following:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Recurrent chest pain
- Acid reflux
- Esophageal spasms
It can also detect damage to the muscles in your throat or esophagus caused by:
- Scleroderma – A rare autoimmune disorder that causes the hardening of the body’s connective tissues
- Injury to the throat – If you recently had surgery on your throat or swallowed a foreign object
- Radiation therapy – Used to treat cancer of the esophagus
In addition, esophageal manometry can help assess your response to medications or treatment for other conditions.
How Is Esophageal Manometry Performed?
During the procedure, your doctor will use a thin, flexible tube that contains pressure sensors. They’ll place this tube through your nose and guide it into your throat and lower esophagus. The sensors measure the pressure of the muscles in these areas as you swallow.
The procedure typically takes 15-30 minutes and is done in a hospital or outpatient clinic.
The test is usually painless, although you may experience slight discomfort from the tube in your throat. Your doctor will give instructions on preparing for the procedure and what to expect afterward.
The Benefits and Risks of Esophageal Manometry
Esophageal manometry is considered safe and reliable. The main benefit of the test is that it can help diagnose conditions affecting your throat and esophagus, including those listed above.
It’s also noninvasive and doesn’t require any medications or special preparation.
The risks associated with the procedure are minimal but can include the following:
- Gagging or choking
- Minor throat irritation
In rare cases, the tube used in the procedure can cause damage to your throat and esophagus. The risk of this is minuscule.
You can reduce your chance of complications by communicating any concerns you have with your doctor before the procedure.
What Should You Expect After Esophageal Manometry?
After the procedure, you may experience a sore throat, gagging, or nausea. If this occurs, these symptoms should subside within 24 hours.
Your doctor will analyze your results and discuss them with you to determine your diagnosis and next steps for treatment.
Some of the treatment options for conditions detected by esophageal manometry include the following:
Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce acid reflux, relax the muscles in your throat, and reduce inflammation.
Surgery may be necessary to repair the damage or correct the problem in some cases.
Certain foods may aggravate your symptoms, so your doctor may recommend avoiding those and maintaining a healthy diet.
You can improve swallowing difficulties with lifestyle modifications such as the following:
- Smaller and more frequent meals
- Eating slowly
- Avoiding lying down after a meal
These are just some of the potential treatment options available. Your gastroenterologist will help you create a plan that works best for you.
Esophageal Manometry in California
Are you looking for medical centers that offer esophageal manometry in California? inSite Digestive Health Care can help you. Our team of experienced and trained gastroenterologists is always excited to give patients the care they need and deserve. We will accompany you in your journey of caring for your GI tract.
To know more or schedule a consultation with the best gastroenterologist, fill in our online request form.
We look forward to helping you live your best life!