Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a chronic digestive disorder that affects many people. It is estimated that 15% to 30% of people living in the U.S. suffer from GERD. GERD creates a backflow of the stomach's contents, including acid, which causes symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, heartburn, and regurgitation. While many treatments are available for GERD, high-resolution esophageal manometry (HREM) has emerged as a valuable tool in managing the disease.
What Is High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry?
HREM is a diagnostic test that measures the pressure and movement of the muscles in the esophagus. During the procedure, a professional will insert a thin tube containing sensors into your nose. The sensors in the tube create a high-resolution 3D map of the muscle activity in the esophagus, providing accurate information about the patient's swallowing function.
The Benefits of HREM in Managing GERD
HREM is an effective tool for managing GERD. The test can help identify the underlying cause of GERD and guide the most appropriate treatment approach for each patient. Doctors use HREM as a visual aid to determine the severity of the digestive disorder, which helps them determine the best course of action for treatment.
GERD can be challenging to diagnose since symptoms are often similar to other digestive disorders. HREM can help differentiate between GERD and other conditions such as achalasia or esophageal spasm. The high-resolution map of activity in the esophagus provided by HREM can detect abnormalities in the esophageal muscles, providing a more accurate diagnosis.
Guiding Treatment for GERD
HREM can also guide doctors in choosing the most appropriate treatment approach for each patient with GERD. For example, HREM can help determine the optimal positioning of the patient during anti-reflux surgery, which can improve the outcomes of the surgery. HREM can also identify patients who may need a more aggressive treatment approach, such as a laparoscopic fundoplication.
Monitoring Treatment Progress
High-resolution esophageal manometry can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of GERD treatment over time. The test can assess the changes in the esophageal muscle activity and pressure after treatment, providing valuable information about the success of the treatment approach.
The Safety of High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry
High-resolution esophageal manometry is a safe and non-invasive procedure with few risks. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require sedation. While patients may experience minor discomfort during the insertion of the tube, the process is generally well-tolerated.
Contact a physician to learn more about high-resolution esophageal manometry support for treating GERD.Share