Proper acid reflux diagnosis is the first step towards heartburn treatment in Houston. High resolution esophageal manometry is an important for acid reflux diagnosis at Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center. The test employs a catheter dotted with closely placed pressure sensors to measure esophageal motility, contractile pressure, and lower esophagus sphincter pressure. Esophageal contractile function plays a central role in acid reflux pathophysiology. Weak esophagus contractions contribute to acid reflux and chronic acid reflux weakens esophageal contractions. It is a vicious circle that contributes to worsening esophageal injury, GERD related symptoms and dysphagia. Dysphagia is commonly associated with acid reflux. Dysphagia is the feeling of food getting stuck in the esophagus. More than 70% of heartburn patients presenting to Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center for evaluation of acid reflux disease have dysphagia. Obstruction to flow or inability to adequately propel a food bolus into the stomach results in dysphagia. Mechanical obstruction is caused by stricture, tumor, Schatzki’s ring, eosinophilic esophagitis, hiatal hernia and distorted anatomy of gastro-esophageal junction. Incomplete lower esophageal sphincter relaxation in response to a swallow can also create obstruction to flow and result in dysphagia. LINX device, scar tissue around the sphincter, lap band and achalasia are some of the causes of poor lower esophageal sphincter relaxation.
Furthermore, a number of esophageal motility disorders like achalasia may initially present with heartburn in the absence of dysphagia. High resolution esophageal manometry is currently the most sensitive test to evaluate esophageal motility in the setting of heartburn evaluation. Manometry can differentiate the different types of achalasia as well as other hypercontractile and spastic disorders affecting the esophagus. Whether esophageal contractions are absent, rapid or vigorous, high resolution manometry is an important tool for acid reflux specialists. Proper testing is the first step towards heartburn treatment. At Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center we offer state of the art acid reflux testing including high resolution esophageal manometry. If you suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, dysphagia or GERD give us a call at 832-945-8717.