High Resolution Oesophageal Manometry

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-820/2019
  • Departments: GI Physiology
  • Last Updated: 18 October 2019


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your forthcoming high resolution oesophageal manometry test.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please contact the Department of GI Physiology directly on (01482) 624036.

What is high resolution oesophageal manometry?

Following discussion with your doctor they advised that high resolution oesophageal manometry is performed.

High resolution oesophageal manometry is a test that measures the pressure activity within the oesophagus and the sphincters (ring like muscles which close a natural orifice or passage at either end of the oesophagus).  The multi-pressure sensor probe (tube) has sensors situated at 1cm intervals and allows for measurement along the entire length of the oesophagus and both sphincters simultaneously (please see diagram).  This enables an assessment of how well the muscles in the oesophagus and the sphincters at either end are working and whether contractions within the oesophagus are coordinated.What is high resolution oesophageal manometry
Diagram produced by the Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Why do I need high resolution oesophageal manometry?

The test provides valuable information regarding your condition and will help to decide what the best treatment is for you (practical advice, medication or surgery).  Unfortunately, there are no other tests available that will provide this information.

Our oesophageal manometry probe is the smallest and most sophisticated equipment available. This ensures that we can perform the test to the highest standards whilst making the whole procedure as quick and comfortable as possible.

Can there be any complications or risks?

The risk of causing serious harm to you with this test is very rare. Minor side effects of oesophageal manometry could include a temporary runny nose, this can be caused by the tube that irritates or inflames the nasal tissue. You will feel minor discomfort in your throat.  Both of which usually disappear on the removal of the tube.

Occasionally, during insertion, the tube may enter the larynx (voice box) and cause choking feeling. When this happens, it is usually recognised immediately, and the tube is rapidly removed.

How do I prepare for the high resolution oesophageal manometry study?

Please read this information leaflet carefully. Share the information it contains with your partner and family (if you wish) so that they can be of help and support.

If you are requesting ambulance transport, please contact your GP practice for details on how to book this. Please ensure to tell them that your appointment is 30 minutes earlier than it is to allow time for transport delays.  Unfortunately late arrival at the hospital may mean that there is insufficient time to carry out the procedure resulting in its cancellation.

Do not have anything to eat or drink for 4 hours prior to the test, although you may drink water up to 2 hours prior to the test.  However, if you are diabetic, please continue with your normal diet.

If you are on any medication for your heart, breathing problems or hormone replacement therapy, please continue to take them as usual. However, it is important that you stop taking any of the following:

Medication to stop 3 days before your appointment:

  • domperidone (Motilium®)
  • metoclopramide (Maxolon®)
  • mebeverine (Colofac®)
  • alverine citrate (Spasmonal®)
  • buscopan or baclofen (Lioresal®)

What will happen?

You should go to the Department of GI Physiology, which is situated next to Ward 14 at Castle Hill Hospital.

You do not need to be accompanied by a family member or friend for this appointment and they will not be able to come into the room whilst you have the procedure performed.  There is plenty of seating in the waiting area should you wish to bring someone with you for support.

A member of staff from the Department of GI Physiology will explain the procedure to you.  This is to ensure that you understand the test and any implications.  You will be asked to sign a consent form if you agree to have the procedure carried out.  A member of staff from the Department of GI Physiology will then start the procedure.

You cannot be put to sleep or sedated during the procedure.  You will be asked to sit upright on a couch.  A probe (tube) with pressure sensors will be passed via your nose into your stomach.  This will involve drinking water to ease the passage of the tube.

Once the tube is in position, it is secured in place with a ribbon around the tube just under your nose and around the back of your head.  The procedure will then begin and we will then give you small measured (5ml) sips of water to swallow approximately ten times.  Following this we will ask you to eat a slice of bread covered with margarine (if you are unable to eat white bread or would prefer to bring your own bread/margarine please feel free to do so).

The process of placing the tube and undertaking the test is around 20 minutes, after which time you will be able to return to work / home.

There is a video link showing the procedure which you may find helpful:


What will happen afterwards?

The results of the test will be analysed before a diagnosis can be made. Once this is done the report will be sent to the consultant in charge of your care who will decide the most appropriate treatment.  You should expect to hear from the hospital within 4 weeks of having the test.  If you have not heard from the hospital within 4 weeks, please contact your consultant’s secretary by ringing the hospital switchboard, on telephone number (01482) 875875 and asking for your particular consultant’s secretary.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of GI Physiology (01482) 624036

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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