High Resolution Oesophageal Manometry

What is oesophageal manometry?

Some people experience difficulty swallowing or chronic acid reflux symptoms in various forms.  In these cases, it can be helpful to check how the oesophageal (food pipe) muscles and sphincters (valves) are working.

High Resolution Manometry (HRM) is used to assess pressure and motor function of the oesophagus and the ability to push solid and liquids from your mouth into your stomach. Oesophageal manometry is used to evaluate:

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Functional chest pain
  • Achalasia
  • Hiatal hernia

It is almost always done before anti-reflux surgery.


  • A local anaesthetic spray is used to numb the nose and throat.
  • A slimline catheter is passed through one nostril, down the oesophagus and into the stomach.
  • Small amounts of water and food are given.
  • The catheter has multiple sensors and records the muscle activity of the oesophagus as you swallow these liquids and solids.
  • The actual procedure only takes approximately 15 minutes.
  • During the procedure you will be able to breathe, swallow and talk freely.


  • On the day of your appointment, you must fast for 4 hours prior to the test. Having sips of water is okay. A light breakfast is permitted if you have an early afternoon appointment.
  • Please advise staff at the time of booking if you are diabetic, as your preparation may be slightly different.
  • Make sure we are aware of all medications you regularly take to make sure none of them could interfere with the test.

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