Esophageal Motility Test

The esophagus is your swallowing tube, by which all food and drink passes on the way down to your stomach. This organ actually propels your food down to your stomach through a mechanism called peristalsis and actually prevents food from coming back up out of the stomach (refluxing). This test is designed to measure the muscle contractions of the muscles that create the motility that creates peristalsis. This test is normally done on patients that are experiencing difficulty swallowing, acid reflux, regurgitation, sore throat, asthma, heartburn and chest pain (among others).

The test is fairly quick (approx. 20-30 minutes) and is done by inserting a soft flexible tube into the nose and down into your esophagus. You then begin to swallow water and the tube is slowly removed while measurements are gathered to determine whether these muscles are functioning normally or abnormally. You are able to drive a car (since no sedation is used) eat and drink directly after the test is finished. 

There are no risks involved in this procedure, only risk of minor irritation to the skin around your nose and throat.efore the test

Before the test

  • Please DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING (including water) after midnight the night before your test.
  • Pleate STOP taking stomach medications. If you are taking Nexium, Losec, Prevacid Pantaloc or Pariet you much stop this medication 1 week before the test. Zantax (Ranitidine), Tagemet (Cimetidine) and Axid should be stopped 48hrs before the test. You CAN take liquid antacids, Gaviscon, Tums and Rolaids up until the time of the test.

Here are the locations of some of the hospitals that we frequently use to book this test.