Small bowel manometry is the most common test used to diagnose CIP, but it is not always definitive and not available at many hospitals. Although it sounds like a difficult procedure, it is actually considered to be one of the easier ones in the diagnosis of CIP.


The patient will be instructed to not eat or drink after midnight the night before the test.
Certain motility and antispasmodic medication should be stopped a day or two before the procedure. This is to ensure accurate diagnosis and a full understanding of the condition without the use of medication. Crucial medications may be taken the morning of the test with a small sip of water.

The patient may need to stop all non-essential medications for up to two days following the procedure. This includes pain medications and anti-anxiety drugs.

Diabetics may only need to take half of their insulin the morning of the test.  Please check with your doctor if you are diabetic.

During the procedure:

The procedure is similar to an esophageal manometry. The patient will be given numbing medication for his/her throat and a tube will be guided down into the small bowel. During the test, the patient will be given a meal in order to measure the contractions of the small bowel after eating. Often these contractions are not coordinated. In some instances, the small bowel contracts backwards or stops contracting at all. After about 6 hours, the tube is removed from the patient’s mouth.

There is also a 24 hour version of this test, in which case the patient will remain in the hospital overnight or will be asked to return the following day for removal of the tube.

After the procedure:

The patient may have a sore throat, excessive gas, and slight bleeding. Normal activities may be resumed. Movement is recommended to help relieve any gas pressure. Any extensive bleeding, excessive nausea, vomiting, pain, or fever should be reported immediately.

Results will be evaluated by a physician within a few days. Abnormal results indicate pseudo-obstruction, a tumor, or other motility problem in the small bowel. It can be helpful in the diagnosis of CIP.