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Esophageal Motility


An esophageal motility study is a diagnostic test that is used to examine and evaluate the overall function of the esophagus. This test will allow your Arlington gastroenterologist to determine the causes of several different symptoms and decide upon the most appropriate treatment plan. As the esophagus is a muscular tube that runs from your mouth to your stomach, this test will cover a broad area and is used in many different instances. This study allows your gastroenterologist to diagnose motility disorders associated with the esophagus, typically in patients who have difficulty swallowing. Additionally, this test is used to provide more information on acid reflux in people where medicine did was an ineffective treatment.

Reasons for an Esophageal Motility Test

Your Arlington, Texas gastroenterologist may recommend an esophageal motility test in one of the following instances:

  • A patient has been experiencing chronic heartburn that may be caused by acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • A patient is having difficulty swallowing food
  • A patient is experiencing chest pain and the gastroenterologist believes it may be coming from the esophagus

Before the Procedure

There steps that must be taken leading up the procedure in order to ensure its effectiveness:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the test
  • Inform the medical staff of any medications you are taking or are allergic to
  • Your nostrils may be numbed with an anesthetic gel to allow for easier placement of the catheter

What to Expect

This test will take place while you are awake and lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Once your nostrils and mouth are numbed, your Arlington gastroenterolgist will insert a thin, flexible tube with pressure sensors on its sides into one nostril of your nose (or mouth). It is then carefully eased down your esophagus and you will be asked to swallow and talk several times in order for your gastroenterologist to take note of the muscle contractions.

After the procedure you will be able to drive yourself home and you can resume regular activity immediately following the exam.


Arlington Gastroenterology Services
2725 Matlock Road
Arlington, TX 76015
Phone: 817-417-4027
Fax: 817-417-4043

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