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Patient Guide to Esophageal Manometry

This information will help you prepare for your esophageal manometry procedure at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).

Esophageal manometry measures the pressure in the esophagus (food pipe). This procedure is done to find out why you have symptoms such as difficulty or pain when you swallow or chest pain. It is also done before anti-reflux surgery. It does not require anesthesia (medication to make you fall asleep).

3 Days Before Your Procedure

You will receive a telephone call from an endoscopy nurse. He or she will confirm the type of procedure(s) you are having and review the instructions listed in this guide with you. The nurse will also ask you questions about your medical history and the medicines you take.

The Day Before Your Procedure

A clerk from the Admitting Office will call you after 2:00 pm the day before your procedure. He or she will tell you what time you should arrive at the hospital for your procedure. If your procedure is scheduled for a Monday, you will be called on the Friday before. If you do not receive a call by 7:00 pm, please call (212) 639-5014.

If you need to cancel your procedure for any reason, please call the doctor who scheduled it for you.

The Day of Your Procedure

Things to remember

  • Do not eat or drink anything the morning of your procedure. This includes water, gum, and hard candy.
  • Do not take erythromycin (an antibiotic) or metoclopramide (Reglan®) the day of your procedure. These medications will affect your test results.
  • Take all your other medicines as prescribed by your doctor.

What to bring with you

  • A list of the medications you take at home
  • Medication for breathing problems (such as inhalers) or medicines for chest pain
  • Only the money you may need
  • A case for your glasses
  • Your Health Care Proxy form, if you have completed one

Where to park

Parking at MSK is available in the garage on East 66th Street between York and First Avenues. To reach the garage, enter East 66th Street from York Avenue. The garage is located about a quarter of a block in from York Avenue, on the right-hand (north) side of the street. There is a pedestrian tunnel that goes from the garage into the hospital. For questions about prices, call (212) 639-2338. There are also commercial garages nearby, on East 69th Street between First and Second Avenues and on East 65th Street between First and Second Avenues.

Where to go

Please come to the Surgical Day Hospital (SDH) located at 1275 York Avenue. This is the main building of MSK. Take the M elevator to the 2nd floor.

What to expect

Once you arrive at the hospital, doctors, nurses, and other staff members will ask you to state and spell your name and date of birth many times. This is for your safety. Patients with the same or similar names may be having procedures on the same day.

Your doctor will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you have. He or she will ask you to sign a consent form.

When it's time for your procedure, you will be brought into the room where it will be performed. Your doctor will pass a thin tube through your mouth or nose and into your stomach. When the tube is in place, you will be asked to swallow small sips of water. The pressure of the muscle contractions will be measured along several sections of the tube. The tube is removed after the procedure is completed. The procedure takes about 15 minutes.

After Your Procedure

Call your doctor or nurse if you have

  • A temperature of 101° F (38.3° C ) or higher
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in your chest
  • Stomach pain, hardness, or bloating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe or constant bleeding from your nose
  • Any unexpected or unexplained problems