Reflux testing and treatment
A physical exam combined with further testing may be required to identify the underlying cause of your swallowing problem.
Your physician will begin by performing a physical exam and discussing your symptoms and history. During the assessment, your physician may want to know the following:
While the physical exam and symptom assessment may be enough to reach an initial diagnosis of dysphagia, further testing is required to identify the underlying cause of your swallowing problem.
Swallowing is a complex process that may be disrupted by any number of different conditions. Because dysphagia has so many potential causes, your doctor may use a variety of different tests to determine the cause of your swallowing symptoms.
In a swallowing study, your physician will have you swallow barium-coated foods of various consistencies. The barium coating makes the foods visible on an X-ray as you chew and swallow. Your physician can watch the food as it moves from your mouth and esophagus into your stomach, identifying any issues that may be interfering with your swallowing process.
Esophageal manometry is a test that measures pressure inside your esophagus to determine whether it’s working properly. During the procedure, a catheter with pressure sensors is inserted through your nose down your esophagus and into your stomach. The sensors measure the rhythmic muscle contractions that occur inside your esophagus when you swallow. This provides diagnostic information about the movement (motility) of food through your esophagus.
An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is an endoscopy of your upper gastrointestinal tract. In an EGD procedure, your physician passes an endoscope (a flexible tube with a small camera attached to the end) down the length of your esophagus to diagnose symptoms in your upper GI tract. An EGD is typically performed under sedation.
In many cases, an EGD alone is not enough to diagnose dysphagia. As many as 78% of endoscopies performed on patients with esophageal symptoms are inconclusive.1 The Endoflip™ impedance planimetry system may simplify your path to diagnosis when you are struggling with swallowing problems.2 Endoflip is a minimally-invasive endoscopic tool that helps identify motility disorders by providing real-time pressure and dimension measurements in the esophagus.
Endoflip provides additional data that helps physicians diagnose motility disorders.3 Endoflip can be administered during an EGD, allowing both tests to be completed at once, this reduces the need for repeat visits, and lowers risk by avoiding subsequent sedation.1
Risk Information: The risks of the EndoFlip™ impedance planimetry system are, but are not limited to: dental trauma, minor or major bleeding, mucosal injury, mucosal laceration or perforation, inflammation, infection, fever, pain, aspiration, cardiac dysrhythmia, pleural effusion, vasovagal response and death. Those associated with endoscopy include, but are not limited to: perforation, hemorrhage, aspiration, hypotension, respiratory depression or arrest, cardiac arrhythmia or arrest, infection/fever, bacteremia, allergic reaction to medication, anaphylactic reactions to topical anesthesia, damage to blood vessels, nerve damage and death. Please refer to the product user manual or medtronic.com/GI for detailed information.
Information and resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Always discuss diagnosis and treatment information including risks with your doctor. Keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary.
Lambert R. Digestive endoscopy: Relevance of negative findings. Italian journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 1999;31(8):761-72
Gyawali CP, Bredenoord AJ, Conklin JL, Fox M, Pandolfino JE, Peters JH, Roman S, Staiano A, Vaezi MF. Evaluation of esophageal motor function in clinical Practice. Neurogastroenterol Motil 2013;25(2):99-133.
Carlson DA, Kahrilas PJ, Lin Z, Hirano I, Gonsalves N, Listernick Z, Ritter K, Tye M, Ponds FA, Wong I, Pandolfino JE. Evaluation of Esophageal Motility Utilizing the Functional Lumen Imaging Probe. Am J Gastroenterol 2016;111(12):1726-1735.