Manometry is a procedure done to test the pressure in the gastrointestinal tract. Manometry is a non-surgical procedure done by passing a catheter containing solid-state or liquid-filled pressure transducers through the mouth or anus to test pressure in the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum, sphincter of Oddi, and rectum.

Why might a manometry be necessary?

A manometry may be necessary to test for structural abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Anorectal manometry may be done to evaluate the anorectal sphincter and diagnose defecation disorders such as incontinence, constipation or Hirschsprung disease.
  • A barostat balloon may be inflated in the stomach by a gastroenterologist to measure gastric accommodation.
  • Oesophageal manometry is done to measure the pressure in the upper and lower oesophageal sphincters, evaluate hiatus hernia and detect abnormalities in contractions to diagnose the cause of dysphagia, heartburn, regurgitation, or chest pain and conditions such as achalasia, diffuse spasm, systemic sclerosis, and lower oesophageal sphincter hypotension and hypertension.
  • A gastroduodenal manometry is done to test the pressure of the gastric antrum, duodenum, and proximal jejunum to determine if the symptoms of dysmotility result from a muscular or nerve disorder in order to plan treatment.

What does the procedure involve?

A manometry is a non-surgical procedure done on an outpatient basis. While conscious for the procedure, you should only experience mild discomfort for 20 – 30 minutes. Prior to the procedure, you will be instructed to refrain from eating for at least 24 hours. You will be given a laxative to flush out your colon for the procedure.

For an oesophageal, stomach or gastroduodenal manometry a thin flexible probe will be inserted through the nose. The tube will then move down through the throat and oesophagus into your stomach. For an anorectal manometry, this thin tube will be inserted into the anus. Sensors are located at various points on the tube and will measure and record the pressure in the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum and colon respectively, depending on the aim of the manometry. Dr Mbao will then interpret the pressure and contractions that were recorded during the test to make an accurate diagnosis. The test typically takes approximately 30 minutes to one hour.