Esophageal Motility Study to Diagnose Problems With the Esophagus

The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Gastroenterologists at The Center for Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility at Mercy are dedicated to treating a range of motility disorders. Our medical team is specially trained in esophageal manometry, an outpatient procedure used to diagnose problems with the esophagus.


What is an Esophageal Motility Study or Esophageal Manometry?

An esophageal motility study (or esophageal manometery) is a swallowing test that can help determine if your esophagus is able to move food to the stomach normally. The esophagus is a long, muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. When you swallow, your esophagus contracts and pushes food into your stomach. Esophageal manometry measures the contractions. The test also measures the force and coordination of esophageal muscles as they move food to your stomach.


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How does an Esophageal Motility Study or Esophageal Manometry work?

During esophageal manometry, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) that contains pressure sensors is passed through your nose, down your esophagus and into your stomach. The sensors allow doctors to measure and understand the function of your esophagus, which is helpful in diagnosing certain disorders.


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When is an Esophageal Motility Study or Esophageal Manometry used?

The esophageal manometry test is commonly given to people who have:

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Chest pain

This test is an outpatient procedure without sedation and most patients tolerate it well.


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The Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Elinor Zhou, M.D.

Dr. Elinor Zhou is a gastroenterologist who provides care for general digestive disorders including colon cancer screening and prevention, GERD, dyspepsia, altered bowel habits and abdominal pain. 

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