Esophageal Manometry (Motility Study) in Denver, CO

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Esophageal motility studies at Denver Digestive Health Specialists are tests conducted to evaluate the contractile and relaxation function of the esophagus. To administer the test, a slim and flexible catheter will be placed into the esophagus through the nose. This form of motility study could be administered to help identify the cause behind:

  • Esophageal spasm
  • Severe gastroesophageal reflux
  • Regurgitation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Prior to esophageal surgery

To locate a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist who can perform an esophageal manometry or motility assessment in Denver, CO, please get in touch with our gastroenterology office.

Before an esophageal motility study, you will get information and instructions from your Denver Digestive Health Specialists provider regarding the preparations you need to follow. Generally, patients will be allowed to follow their regular eating habits the day before the study. Patients will be asked not to inject any food or beverages by mouth after midnight except for medications. It is highly imperative to adhere to the information and instructions given to you by your GI practitioner. Further instructions pertaining to your medications will also be explained. Most of the time, your medication regimen will continue as normal. For some individuals, however, particularly in individuals on blood thinners, (such as aspirin, anti-inflammatories, warfarin, Coumadin®, Plavix®) and in patients with diabetes, special instructions will be administered.

You will be instructed to arrive at the endoscopy facility half an hour ahead of the evaluation. This is to allow time to complete forms and undergo preparations for the esophageal motility exam.

Upon entering the treatment area, you will be asked to lie back on a patient exam table. Either your right or left nostril will be anesthetized with a numbing solution. Our team will then insert a narrow tube into your nose. As the catheter is placed into the esophagus, you will be encouraged to swallow in an effort to open the esophageal area. We will adjust the catheter to gauge the contraction of the lower esophageal sphincter. We will then measure the squeeze of the remaining esophageal muscles. During this part of the motility evaluation, you will be asked to swallow 10 – 20 small sips of water. After this, the exam will be finished, and the catheter will be withdrawn. Typically, the process will be completed in around 30-60 minutes.

Since sedation is not administered for the study, you will be allowed to depart the endoscopy center right after you are finished. In most instances, patients can eat and drink normally after being released from the endoscopy center; however, detailed instructions pertaining to activity, eating, and medications will be provided by our staff ahead of discharge.

Because the computer system will develop graphs and charts from the information collected during the procedure, the results of the test will not be available until after you depart the endoscopy center. Your test results will be interpreted by the physician at a later time. You are likely to be contacted by your physician at our Denver, CO office within a week to discuss your esophageal manometry test results.

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Esophageal motility assessments are considered to be a safe procedure. Complications occur in fewer than 1% of individuals. In most instances, complications do not tend to be fatal, but should a complication develop, it may result in a hospital stay and surgery. Before we begin the evaluation, the healthcare team at Denver Digestive Health Specialists will discuss a consent form with the patient.

Puncture or perforation of the esophageal tissues is an uncommon complication but can happen. This might be recognized during the test, or it might not be found until later in the day. In most cases, a perforation will result in surgery and a hospital stay. It is very important that the patient call the provider’s office immediately should any symptoms or issues arise in the wake of the test, such as bleeding, abdominal pain that worsens, or fever.


Similar to any other assessment, an esophageal motility test is not flawless. There exists a slight, acknowledged risk that health concerns could go undetected throughout the study. We urge you to periodically request appointments with your healthcare practitioners and inform them about any new or persistent symptoms.

To some degree, the option for alternative procedures will depend on the reason for needing to complete an esophageal manometry procedure. For the majority of individuals, an esophageal motility study is the best method to measure the contractile abilities of the esophagus. Although, an x-ray image, called an esophagram, alone or during the course of a barium swallow/upper GI procedure, can additionally enable providers to assess the esophagus.

If you or a member of your family notices problems such as regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, or chest pain, then an esophageal motility evaluation could help your healthcare provider gain a better understanding of the concern and identify the best approach to diagnose and address the concern. In order to meet with a provider to undergo this valuable test, don't hesitate to get in touch with Denver Digestive Health Specialists. An experienced network of digestive health specialists, we proudly take a patient-focused approach that allows us to perform with the utmost clinical standards. Please reach out to our practice today to hear more about esophageal manometry in Denver, CO.

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J.S. Google

The absolute best. The care, concern, genuine friendliness and professionalism - all can’t be beat! Thank you!

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Dr New is a very pleasant and thorough provider. I would send my whole family to him!

T.S. Google

This is my 2nd procedure with Dr. Wolfe and I'm a patient with a lot of complicated Surgeries to address. Dr. Wolfe is straight forward incredivlbly talented at her profession and has a great bedside manor. My latest procedure was a dilation and I always have anxiety at Rose my Hospital for 20 yrs. Dr. Wolfe was very thorough and held my hand as I went under. Only a few Drs are exemplary and Dr. Wolfe and Ghiselli are the best in my World. Thank you Dr. Wolfe.

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