Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Small Bowel Manometry

Testing Information: Small Bowel Manometry

What is Small Bowel Manometry?

The Small Bowel Manometry Test is done to analyze how well the muscles and nerves of the small intestine work in propelling liquid or food through the gastrointestinal tract.

The test lasts around 6 hours. Testing time is long because contractions in the small intestine do not occur frequently and measurements must be made over a long period in an effort to “catch” the contractions.

The patient should have the following studies performed for the Medical Director’s review prior to scheduling Small Bowel Manometry. Based upon the results of previous testing, the patient may require a consultation prior to scheduling the test.

  • EGD
  • Small Bowel Series x-ray
  • Nuclear Gastric Emptying


Some patients may experience throat discomfort and nosebleed.

Before the procedure

Discontinue 48 hours prior to your test all drugs that can affect gastric motility such as prokinetics (Reglan® , Propulsid®, Domperdone®, Erythrocin®, Zelnorm®), narcotics, anticholinergics (Bentyl®, Levsin®, Donnatal®), antiemetics (Compazine®, Tigan®, Zofran®), NSAIDs (Motrin®, Advil®), antidepressants, oral contraceptives, tobacco and alcohol.

What to do the night before the procedure

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the day of your test.

Preparing for the procedure

The test requires no pre-medication.

During the procedure

The test is recorded for about 3 hours in the fasting state and about 3 hours after an appropriate test meal. The test meal consists of 2 cans of Ensure®. A plastic catheter, which has the capability of making pressure measurements, is passed through the nose into the small intestine. Pressure measurements are obtained simultaneously from multiple locations in the stomach and small bowel in a fasted state. Later, food is given and pressure measurements are obtained in the fed state. Correct positioning of the catheter will be made using x-ray.

After the procedure

You may drive yourself home after the procedure.