How to prepare for the test
Please do not eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the test. Small amounts of water are safe up to two hours before the test.
If you suffer from asthma please use your inhalers as directed by your GP and bring them with you on the day of the test.
Check the below medication list and stop accordingly – if you are unsure about which medications you need to stop please feel free to contact us.
Please wear loose fitting clothes as you will be lying down and they can constrict and interfere with the test.
If you are having a 24 pH or impedance test please see the below on how to prepare for these tests (your appointment letter will state the tests you are having).
Please stop these medications SEVEN DAYS before your test:
- Losec (Omperazole)
- Protium (Pantoprazole)
- Zoton (Lansoprazole)
- Pariet (Rabeprazole
- Nexium (Esomeprazole)
- Axid (Nizatidine)
Please stop taking these medications THREE DAYS before your test:
- Zantac (Ranitidine)
- Maxalon (Metaclopramide)
- Tagamet (Cimetidine)
- Motilium (Domperidone)
- Cisapride (Prepulsid)
Please stop taking these medications 24 HOURS before your test:
Oesophageal manometry and 24 hour pH measurement:
This leaflet provides you with information about your forthcoming oesophageal (gullet) tests and gives you information about what is involved.
You may be having one or both tests and your appointment letter should state this.
Once you have been called into the procedure room the test will take approximately 1 hour.
What is the oesophagus?
The oesophagus is a long muscular tube like structure which connects your mouth to your stomach. Its function is to pass food and liquid from your mouth to your stomach via muscular contractions. Within your oesophagus you have a valve which helps control the movement of food and liquid down into the stomach and prevent acid from refluxing back up.
This part of the test assesses whether your food pipe is working properly. Additional to this it also looks at the strength of your valve and whether it open and closes correctly.
How is the test carried out?
A thin flexible tube is passed gently into your nostril. You will then be asked to take small sips of water through a straw which will help move the tube down the oesophagus and into your stomach. You will feel a slight sensation at the back of your throat but it should not be painful.
Once the tube is in place you will be asked to lie down on the couch, propped up slightly by a pillow.
We will then ask you to lie still whilst we take measurement of your oesophagus. Following this you will also be asked to swallow small mouthfuls of water and sometimes food. After this, the test is complete and the tube will be carefully removed.
You can go about your normal daily activities straight afterwards.
If you may need assistance transferring onto our procedure couch please contact the department before attending your appointment.
24-hour pH or Impedance testing
These tests allow us to look at how much acid or other stomach contents are coming up into your oesophagus from your stomach.
We like to monitor you for 24-hours so we can record what is happening at both meal times and sleeping periods.
This test also allows us to monitor your symptoms and see how well they are associated with the presence of acid or stomach contents in your oesophagus.
How is the test carried out?
A thin tube will be passed into your nostril and then down your oesophagus into your stomach by the aid of you sipping and swallowing on water.
The tube will be positioned in the oesophagus just above the valve and taped securely to the side of your nose and face. It is important that this tape stays on to ensure the tube is in the correct place. Once secured in place you can go home.
You will be asked to fill in a diary of your meals, bed time, symptoms etc. Please ensure this is completed and brought with you the following day.
You can eat and drink as normal and we encourage you to carry out regular daily activities as well as symptom provoking tasks.
You will return the next day to have the tubes removed.
Should you have any problems while you have the tube in overnight, please contact the individual who performed your test using the on call number provided to you.
In an emergency situation of you feeling very unwell please attend A&E.
What are the risks and benefits associated with the test?
The benefit of having the test is to allow us to measure accurately how the muscles of your oesophagus and the valve where it joins to your stomach are working.
There is a small risk of bleeding (in the nose) when the catheter is inserted. There is also a theoretical risk of a perforation (a tear) to the oesophagus, but this has never been documented to have happened during one of these tests.
Are there any alternatives to this test?
You should already have had either an OGD endoscopy or a barium swallow to look at the lining of your oesophagus and to see if there are any obstructions. This test however, investigates the muscle function of your oesophagus and at present there is no alternative.
Oesophageal manometry investigates the muscle function of your oesophagus and at present there is no alternative.
You should already have had either an OGD endoscopy or a barium swallow to look at the lining of your oesophagus and to see if there are any obstructions. If you have not had one of these tests in the last 2 years please contact the department before attending your appointment.
If you require any additional information concerning the investigations or any advice please contact us using the details on the back page:
If unavailable please leave a message and you will be contacted.
If you or the individual you are caring for need support reading this leaflet please ask a member of staff for advice.
How to contact us:
0117 414 8801
GI Physiology Department,
Gate 36, Level 1,
Bristol, BS10 5NB
© North Bristol NHS Trust. This edition published July 2019. Review due July 2021. NBT003128