What’s the test for?
This test can look at the function of your oesophagus or food pipe.
You may be referred for these tests if your doctor or consultant wants to find out about any reflux, chest discomfort and/or why you’re having difficulty swallowing.
This test is often performed in combination with reflux testing .
About the procedure
The test involves inserting a thin flexible tube called a catheter (2 – 3 mm diameter) through your nose, down the back of your throat into your oesophagus and into your stomach.
The tube will be positioned so that is pressure sensors over the entire length of your oesophagus. Once in position, it will be taped to your nose for the duration of the test.
During the test, you will be asked to take sips and swallows of slightly salty water and some food to allow us to see how the muscles are functioning. Recordings of oesophageal pressures will be made over about 10 mins and then the tube will be removed.
The results will be displayed as a graph with a wave pattern that can be analysed to see if your oesophagus is functioning normally.
If you are paying for this test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £850.
How to prepare
There is some preparation required before your arrival at the clinic. This preparation involves stopping certain medication and fasting. Please see our patient information leaflet for full details.
What can be learned
The catheter measures pressures within the oesophagus to determine if the muscles are working as they should.
Following your test, your data will be analysed, and results written up into a report. The report will be sent to both you and your referring consultant/doctor, who will explain the results to you in a follow-up consultation.