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Center for Minimally Invasive Esophageal Therapies

Diseases & Conditions

Motility Disorders Diagnostic Procedures

How are Motility Disorders Diagnosed?

There are several ways that physicians may detect a motility disorder, after doing a medical history and physical examination.

Barium Swallow
A barium swallow, also called a contrast esophagram, is a series of x-rays of your esophagus. You drink a barium-containing liquid, which coats the inside of the esophagus and makes its shape and contours appear on x-rays. The x-ray technologist may take a series of images.

The physician will spray a pain-killing solution in your throat and then examine the area using an endoscope, which is a thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera at the end. An ultrasound transducer may be added to the tip of the endoscope, to obtain high-quality images. The physician will be able to see any abnormalities and take a tissue sample (biopsy), if necessary. You may be given medication through a vein in your arm if you are having trouble relaxing.

Esophageal Manometry
This test measures esophageal motor patterns as well as the pressure inside your lower esophageal sphincter. Your physician will insert a thin, pressure-sensitive tube into your mouth or nose to your stomach. You will then be asked to swallow, and the muscular contractions in your esophagus will be recorded.

What are motility disorders, their symptoms and causes?
How may motility disorders be treated?

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