Gastroenterology Services

Esophageal Motility Study


An esophageal motility study allows your doctor to test the pressure in the lower part of your esophagus. This procedure measures the rhythmic muscle contractions and muscle force exerted that occurs when you swallow. Your doctor may suggest an esophageal motility test if you are experiencing difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or pain when swallowing (odynophagia).

Preparing for the procedure

You should avoid eating or drinking eight hours before your scheduled test. Inform your doctor of all the medications you are taking or any latex allergies. Your doctor may advise you to stop certain medications in preparation for the test.

During the procedure

Numbing spray may be used to numb the back of your throat or nose, depending on the insertion method. Next, a thin tube will be inserted into your mouth or nose and pulled back to your esophagus. You will be asked to swallow once the tube is in place in your esophagus. While you are swallowing, the tube measures the pressure of your esophageal muscle contractions.

The test takes about an hour to complete. It is normal to experience slight discomfort or soreness in your nose or throat for up to 24 hours after. You may resume all normal activities and diet after the procedure.