Do I Need Manometry Therapy?
Did you end up at this article because you think you might have digestive issues? Well, we’re here to help!
Your digestive system is a complex and interconnected system that can develop problems. To get specific for a second: Your digestive system includes the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. In addition, your gastrointestinal tract involves the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines and anus. These organs play roles in gastric motility, which is the movement of food through this complex system.
If you suspect an issue with your digestion, manometry therapy is one method a physician may use to determine how well your digestive tract moves and contracts.
When is Manometry Therapy Used?
Manometry therapy analyzes how effectively your digestive system’s sphincter muscles open and close and how effectively the muscles in your intestinal tract contract. The most common gastric motility disorders—conditions where these functions are less than optimal, which can be diagnosed with manometry therapy—include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), esophageal spasms, gastroparesis, Hirschsprung’s disease, scleroderma and achalasia.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may need to consult a doctor who can recommend the right manometry therapy:
- Pain or difficulty when swallowing
- Globus sensation (sensation of having something stuck in your throat)
- Severe GERD symptoms
- Chest pain
- Nausea after eating
The Different Types of Manometry Therapy
As we mentioned above, there are several different types of manometry, which we’ll discuss below. They all involve using a high-resolution manometry catheter, a thin, flexible tube that contains pressure sensors.
The esophageal manometry test measures lower esophageal function and the esophagus muscles. It is commonly performed on patients with symptoms such as pain or difficulty swallowing, heartburn, regurgitation and chest pain.
The test does not involve sedation but does use a topical anesthetic. A manometry catheter is passed through your nose and esophagus and into the stomach. During the test, you would be asked to swallow a small amount of water to evaluate the strength and spasms of the esophagus.
Rhinomanometry analyzes nasal activity measuring the nasal passages’ airflow and pressure. During this test, you would be asked to inhale and exhale with cones inserted in both nostrils – one nostril will contain a manometry catheter. The doctor will check both nostrils for irregularities that may result in airflow obstruction.
Acoustic rhinometry evaluates nasal obstruction using reflected sound waves generated from a sound source. Sound pulses are transmitted to the nose using a tube and back to a computer that analyzes the data to determine nasal cavity abnormalities.
Anorectal manometry is performed in cases of fecal incontinence, chronic constipation, pelvic floor dyssynergia, weakened or damaged anal sphincter and reduced rectal sensation. The procedure involves attaching a balloon to the end of a manometry catheter. The balloon is inflated and deflated a few times to determine whether the patient feels sensation in the rectum. The catheter is then removed and replaced with a different catheter, which has also been outfitted with a balloon. Then, the balloon is inflated with water, and the patient is asked to expel the balloon within five minutes or less.