Esophageal Manometry (Motility Study) in Houston, TX

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An esophageal motility study (also called esophageal manometry) is one of the tests carried out by the providers at Gastroenterology Consultants to evaluate the muscles and movements in the esophagus. Esophageal manometry involves a narrow, flexible tube that is inserted through the nose and carefully advanced down into the esophagus. An esophageal motility study might be ordered to help diagnose the underlying cause of symptoms like:

  • Severe gastroesophageal reflux
  • Esophageal spasm
  • Before undergoing esophageal surgery
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the chest area
  • Regurgitation

To consult with a gastroenterology specialist who can perform an esophageal manometry or esophageal motility study in Houston, TX, reach out to our GI office today.

Your Gastroenterology Consultants doctor will provide you with information and instructions regarding the preparations you should make before your esophageal motility study. Generally, patients will be allowed to eat normally the day prior to the exam. Individuals will be advised not to take anything by mouth after 12:00 a.m. (midnight) with the exception of medications. It is essential to comply with the information and instructions provided to you by your gastroenterology doctor. Specific instructions concerning any medications you take will also be reviewed. In most cases, your medication regimen will not be altered. However, in certain cases, especially in patients on anticoagulant medications, (for example, Plavix®, Coumadin®, warfarin, anti-inflammatories, or aspirin) and in diabetic patients, special instructions will be administered.

Your GI care provider will instruct you to be at the endoscopy facility half an hour prior to your test. This is to allow time to fill out patient forms and be prepped for the exam.

Once in the procedure area, you will be instructed to lie on a patient exam table. Either your left or right nostril will be numbed with lidocaine. The nurse will then guide a thin catheter into the nostril. As the tube is moved into the esophagus, you will be asked to swallow in an effort to open up the esophagus. The nurse will first adjust the catheter to evaluate the squeeze of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. We will then assess the contractile ability of the remaining esophageal muscles. At this portion of the motility evaluation, you will be required to swallow 10 – 20 small sips of water. Once this is completed, the exam will be finished and the catheter will be removed. Overall, the process will last about 30-60 minutes.

Because sedation is not administered for the evaluation, you will be free to exit the endoscopy unit right after it is finished. In most instances, individuals can eat and drink normally following their release from the endoscopy center, but some instructions surrounding eating, physical activity, and medications will be discussed by our team prior to discharge.

It can take some time for the computer system to produce graphs and data from the information gathered in your test, so the results of your examination won't be ready right away. The evaluation results will be shared with you by your doctor at a future time. You should get a call from your doctor at our Houston, TX practice within one week with information about your esophageal motility evaluation results.

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Esophageal motility studies are considered to be low-risk. Treatment complications are seen in less than 1% of patients. Most complications are not fatal, but should a complication occur, it may require surgery and hospitalization. Prior to beginning the evaluation, a consent form will be discussed with the patient by the medical staff at Gastroenterology Consultants.

Piercing or perforation of the esophageal structure is a very unlikely effect but can arise. This might be noticed at some point during the test, or it might not be apparent until further into the day. In the majority of instances, a puncture will require surgery and hospitalization.

It is essential that the patient call the doctor's office right away should any issues or symptoms occur following the exam, such as fever, increasing abdominal pain, or bleeding.

Much like with any other medical assessment, an esophageal motility assessment is not perfect. There is a small, accepted risk that irregularities could go undetected throughout the procedure. It is imperative to continually follow-up with your healthcare practitioners per their instructions and inform them of any persistent or new symptoms.

There are alternatives to an esophageal motility exam, but to a certain degree, your options will be based on the purpose for ordering the test to begin with. In most cases, the esophageal motility study is the most effective method to evaluate the muscle abilities of the esophagus. However, a radiograph referred to as an esophagram, either by itself or coupled with a barium swallow/upper GI, can also enable doctors to assess the esophagus as well.

If you or a member of your family is burdened with symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty swallowing, or regular acid reflux, then an esophageal motility study may enable your GI doctor to better understand the problem and come up with a treatment plan to address your discomfort. To speak with a specialist who can tell you more about this valuable test, please get in touch with Gastroenterology Consultants. As a physician-led group of GI physicians, we pride ourselves on having a patient-centered approach that enables us to offer the greatest clinical standards. To discover more about esophageal manometry in Houston, TX, please contact our facility today.

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