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Merck Manual

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Jonathan Gotfried

, MD, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Last full review/revision Jun 2019| Content last modified Jun 2019
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Manometry is measurement of pressure within various parts of the digestive tract. People must not eat or drink anything after midnight before the test.

In this test, a flexible tube with pressure gauges along its surface (called a manometry catheter) is placed in the esophagus, stomach, first part of the small intestine, or the rectum. Placement of the manometry catheter through the nose or mouth typically causes gagging and nausea, so a numbing agent is sprayed in the nose and back of the throat. Using the manometer, a doctor can determine whether contractions of the digestive tract are normal or whether pressure in the anal sphincter is normal.

Aside from minor discomfort, complications of manometry are very rare.

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