Esophageal manometry is an outpatient test used to identify swallowing problems. It measures the strength and muscle coordination of your esophagus when you swallow.
During the manometry test, a tube is passed through the nose, along the back of the throat, down the esophagus, and into the stomach through the sphincter valve. This procedure works by testing how well your esophagus moves food from your throat down to your stomach with a wave-like motion called peristalsis. As well as how well the sphincter, prevents food from moving out of the stomach.
A catheter (about 1/4 inch in diameter) is placed into the nose and guides it into the stomach. Once placed, the catheter is slowly withdrawn, allowing it to detect pressure changes and to record information for later review. You are not sedated, although a topical anesthetic (pain-relieving medication) may be applied to your nose to make the passage of the tube more comfortable. The tube is connected to a machine that records the contractions of the esophageal muscles on a graph.