If you have digestive issues and go to a forward-thinking, high-tech specialty practice, your doctor might just recommend you for a new procedure known as a Manoscan.
“Manoscan is a revolutionary technology for helping us identify certain illnesses,” says Dr. Gurunath Reddy, of Digestive and Liver Disease Consultants, PA in Houston Texas. “It helps us get dynamic readings which allow us to pinpoint the cause of various esophageal and digestive symptoms.”
What is Manoscan?
Manoscan is a test doctor can use to evaluate the condition of the esophagus. Doctors feed a highly sensitive catheter down through the nose and into the stomach. The catheter is very small, and there shouldn’t be much discomfort, though many patients do feel some pressure at the back of the nose and throat. Most patients find they can talk and breathe easily during the test and do not experience any pain.
With the catheter in place, doctors may begin measuring the amount of pressure and motor function inside the esophagus, a quality known as “motility.” Simply put, motility in the esophagus represents this organ’s ability to move foods and fluid through your system. Deterioration in motility can point many major digestive problems.
The data is presented for doctors in a series of 3D, real-time graphs and charts which gives them a better idea of what’s going on. This allows them to make a more accurate diagnosis than previous methods and tests meant to evaluate the same sorts of issues.
Want to see how it works? Check out this demo. This one is aimed at doctors, so be prepared for some terminology that’s a little deep in the weeds. If you want to see the procedures in action visit this video. The makers of the second video are very honest as they walk you through everything from the taste of the numbing gel to the insertion of the catheter, and are frank about everything you can expect to feel during the test.
Who might be referred for a Manoscan?
Your doctor may recommend a Manoscan if you suffer from any of the following symptoms or conditions:
- Acid reflux
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
Often, Manoscan is used to determine whether a patient would benefit from surgery. It can also help doctors screen for conditions like a hiatal hernia or esophageal cancer.
Though there is always a risk of complications with any medical procedure, a Manoscan is, for the most part, a low-risk affair. Nevertheless, you should give your doctor a full, complete, honest picture of your health history so he or she may evaluate potential complications or trouble spots.
Keep in mind this technology is relatively new, as it only achieved FDA approval in April of 2016. Adding this technology to a practice is still very expensive, and so many digestive doctors have not invested in Manoscan yet. If you’re looking for a new set of digestive consultants calling and asking whether they use technology like this can be a good indication of whether you will receive the highest standard of care available.
How should you prepare for a Manoscan?
Manoscan is an outpatient procedure that takes less than half an hour. You won’t have to do much to prepare. However, you should avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the day before your test. You should also tell your doctor about any medications you may be taking, as they can impact the results doctors receive. They may give you special instructions regarding these medications before you take your test.
Depending on your health history your doctors may give you other instructions, as well. Make sure you have these instructions in writing and that you follow them to the letter. Usually, these instructions will be aimed at eliminating issues which might prevent the test results from being as accurate as they could be.
While you may be given a numbing gel to make you more comfortable with the catheter, there is no anesthesia or sedation involved. This means you’ll be able to drive yourself home and may even begin working the next day. Some patients do experience a sore throat after the procedure is complete, so keeping a little sore throat medication handy probably wouldn’t hurt.
After the Manoscan your doctor will discuss the results with you, and work with you to determine the next steps for ensuring your digestive health, so make sure you have some space on your calendar for a follow-up appointment!