What is a GI Motility Study?

A GI motility study or esophageal manometry is a test that is done to see if the esophagus is functioning properly. The esophagus is a tube that connects the throat with the stomach and is used as a pathway for food to travel into the digestive system.

The esophageal manometry test checks to see if the esophagus is relaxing and contracting properly. If this process is disrupted it can make swallowing difficult and also result in GERD.

Esophageal manometry measures the strength and patterns of the muscle contractions in the esophagus and can help determine whether the lower esophageal sphincter or LES opens and closes properly. The LES is a valve that normally remains closed to keep food and stomach acid inside the stomach and prevent it from rising upward into the esophagus. When this value is not functioning properly it causes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Who is a Good Candidate for GI Motility Study?

Patients who are suffering from chronic acid reflux (GERD) or heartburn or are experiencing trouble with swallowing would be good candidates for gastric motility testing. For example, individuals who feel like their food is getting stuck or are experiencing burning pains in their chest after eating.

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How is the GI Motility Study performed?

A GI motility study is performed through the patient’s nose and down their throat. The procedure begins with the application of a numbing cream inside the nose to minimize any discomfort. The first part of the procedure is performed while the patient is sitting upright and normally takes about 15 seconds. A very skinny flexible catheter is inserted into the patient’s nose, down their esophagus, and into their stomach while they are swallowing small sips of water.

Once the doctor gets the tube into the proper position it is connected to a computer. While the doctor slowly pulls the catheter back into your esophagus he will instruct you to swallow and the computer will record the pressure levels of the swallowing in different sections of the esophagus. The catheter is removed after all sections have been tested.

GI Motility

How long does the GI Motility Study take?

The entire procedure takes about 25 to 45 minutes to complete.

When will I see the Results of my GI Motility Study?

Normally, it takes just a few days to receive the results from a GI Motility study. Once the test results are analyzed on the computer, the physician will set up a follow-up appointment with you to discuss the results and determine a plan of care.

What are the risks of a GI Motility Study?

A GI motility study is very safe and may include minor side effects such as a mild sore throat, nosebleed, or sinus issues.

How much does the Procedure cost?

The average cost of an esophageal manometry procedure in the United States ranges from $768 to $1,493. The cost of the procedure will vary by patient and circumstance. Visit our Pricing Page to learn more.

If you are experiencing chronic heartburn or ongoing acid reflux and are seeking relief from these painful symptoms, schedule an appointment today with the experts at IBI Healthcare Institute.

GI Motility Study