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Pediatric Esophageal Manometry

Esophageal manometry is a test to measure the strength and function of the esophagus (the “food pipe”). Results can help find causes of heartburn, swallowing problems, or chest pain. The test can also help plan surgery and determine the success of previous surgery.

Preparing for the test

 

Be sure to talk to your child's healthcare provider about any medicines they are taking. Some medicines can affect the test results. Also ask any questions you have about the risks of the test. These include irritation to the nose and throat. Be sure your child does not eat or drink for up to 12 hours before the test.

During the test

 

Manometry takes about an hour. Patients usually lie down during the test. A soft, thin tube is placed through the nose and down the esophagus. At first, your child may notice a gagging feeling. They will be asked to swallow several times. Holes along the tube measure the pressure while swallowing. Measurements are printed out as tracings, much like a heart test tracing. After the test, another catheter may be left in the esophagus for up to 24 hours to measure acid (pH) levels.

After esophageal manometry

 

  • You’ll probably discuss the results of the test with your child's healthcare provider at another appointment. This is because the provider will need time to go over the tracings.
  • Your child may have a mild sore throat for a short time.
  • As soon as the throat numbness is gone, your child can return to eating and normal activities.