This exam allows your physician to evaluate how strongly the muscles of the esophagus contract when you swallow and how competent the sphincter (valve) is at the end of the esophagus. A small tube with sensors is gently inserted through a nostril and positioned in the esophagus and stomach. Though it may feel awkward, it is easily tolerated in most cases.
- Do not eat or drink for at least six hours before the test
- Consult with your doctor if you take any regular medication, as many must be discontinued for at least 24 hours before your appointment
- Wear comfortable clothing
What To Expect
Because numerous medications can affect the outcome of this procedure, you will not be sedated for the exam, though a topical anesthetic to your nose and throat may be applied if desired. In a reclining position you will be asked to swallow, or not swallow as a computer records your muscle movement. The test will take 45–90 minutes, and you will be able to drive and return to your daily routine when the procedure is finished.
There is minor risk of bleeding associated with the insertion of the tube, which in most cases is easily stopped.