Esophageal Manometry

Why do we do the test?

Your provider will order HRM to assess the function of your esophagus. This test allows us to assess how the esophagus moves, and it is often used as a complement to EGD and/or acid reflux testing to fully evaluate patients with swallowing difficulty, acid reflux or GERD, chronic coughing and prior to anti-reflux surgery.

What is the test?

This test is performed in our motility unit within the endoscopy center at St. Peter’s Hospital. Our experienced motility nurses perform each and every one of our tests with great care.

During this test, a slender catheter is inserted through one of your nostrils after application of a local anesthetic. The catheter is then gently advanced into your esophagus. Our nurses will then have you lie on your side, and gently sip water to assess the esophagus function. The whole test takes less than 30 minutes.

How to prepare?

Your provider will assess your medications and discuss with you holding certain medications such as blood thinners (Aspirin, Plavix, or Coumadin) if necessary. It may also be necessary to hold antacid medications for several days leading up to the test. Please discuss this with your provider.

Follow up

When the test is complete, the result will be sent to one of our motility specialists who will then evaluate and diagnose your condition. Based on these results, your provider may recommend additional tests or procedures to help you feel better. Results are typically available 7-10 days after the procedure is completed.


Serious risks are quite rare with HRM, but include bleeding, damage to the esophagus, breathing trouble, pneumonia, and nausea with vomiting. Some patients will experience a nosebleed, nasal irritation or coughing. These symptoms are usually brief and managed within our motility unit.

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