Why Would My Gastroenterologist Decide to Preform an Esophageal Manometry?
The esophagus is the tube that carries food and liquid from the throat to the stomach. Although it seems like a simple organ, the esophagus is much more than a rigid tube. The wall of the esophagus contains a muscle that automatically contracts whenever a person swallows. This contraction occurs as a sweeping wave down the esophagus (peristalsis). It literally strips the food or liquid from the throat to the stomach. Another important part of the esophagus is the lower valve muscle (lower esophageal sphincter, LES). This is a specialized muscle that remains closed most of the time, only opening when swallowed food is moved down the esophagus or when a person burps or even vomits. This specialized muscle protects the lower esophagus from caustic stomach acid and bile. These substances, of course, cause the discomfort of heartburn, and in time, can lead to damage and scarring in the esophagus. Manometry means the recording of muscle pressures within an organ. Esophageal manometry measures the pressure within the esophagus. As such, it can evaluate the action of the stripping muscle waves in the main portion of the esophagus, as well as the muscle valve at the end of it. This test insures that your esophagus is working properly. So, if you are having issues and symptoms associated with esophageal abnormalities, your gastroenterologist may order the Esophageal Manometry Test. At Blair Gastroenterology Associates, we specialize in diseases and disorders of the digestive system. If you feel that you are suffering with symptoms associated with a disease or disorder of the digestive system, be sure to give our office a call.