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What is Transnasal Esophagoscopy (TNE)?

TNE is a test to look at your esophagus. The esophagus is the food tube that goes from your throat into your stomach. 

This test is done by passing a flexible camera through your nose and the back of your throat. The doctor can then see into the esophagus and stomach. We do this test to find the cause of problems with your voice or with swallowing, heartburn, cough, and other symptoms. Pictures will be taken. A small sample of tissue may be removed. 

Getting Ready for TNE

  • Do not eat or drink for 4 hours before the test. If you need to take medicine, take it with a small sip of water.    

  • Tell the nurse or doctor if you have any allergies to Lidocaine or other medicines ending with “caine.”

  • Tell us before the test if you are taking blood-thinners. Blood thinners include warfarin or Coumadin® , aspirin or Plavix®. You must ask your local doctor if it is ok to stop the drug for 3 days before the TNE exam. If you do not tell us about taking these drugs, you would have an increased risk of bleeding. Please call the ENT (Otolaryngology) clinic at least 4 days before the test if you have any questions about the blood thinners you take.

  • For 3 days before your TNE, do not take anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, Rufen®, Advil®, Naprosyn®, Feldene®). Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is OK.    

  • If you take antibiotics before a dental visit, please do so before this exam.

  • If you have diabetes, you need to adjust your morning dose of insulin. You will not be eating or drinking on the morning of the test. You should talk this over with your local doctor.    Bring your insulin and meter with you to the clinic. Check your blood sugar in the morning before you come to the clinic. Bring the results with you. If you begin to have low blood sugar at home, drink orange juice or some other liquid with sugar. We may still be able to do the exam. It is very important for you to treat your low blood sugar. The test can always be rescheduled.

The Exam

The time of the test will be _________ at _____________________clinic. It will take about 30 minutes. You will be awake the entire time. You will be sitting down. The doctor will numb you with a numbing spray (Lidocaine). A small flex camera will be passed through your nose down into your esophagus and stomach. During the exam you may be asked to swallow. Small puffs of air or water will be put into your esophagus and stomach. This might make you feel a little bloated. The air can be easily burped, or it will pass naturally.

After the Exam

You will remain alert and should not have any pain. You may notice a slight soreness in your nose and throat for a few hours.    You will be able to breathe and swallow as before, but do not eat or drink anything for 1 hour after the exam.

After You Go Home

After 1 hour, slowly drink water. If this is swallowed without any problem, you may have solid food.

You may have mild pain. You may use Tylenol® for pain.

Resume taking your blood-thinning medicines as directed by your local doctor.

If you have any of these warning signs listed below, do not eat or drink and call your doctor right away.

  • Signs of breathing problems:    increased rate of breathing, trouble breathing, and shortness of breath.

  • Spitting up bright red blood.

  • Fever over 101° F or 38.3° C.

  • Chest pain or new back pain.

Phone Numbers

ENT (Otolaryngology) Clinic, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (608) 263-6190

Medical and Surgical Weight Management Clinic at The American Center, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (608) 265-7090

General Surgery Clinic at The American Center, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (608) 440-6300

After hours, weekends, and holidays, this will give you the paging operator. Ask for the doctor on call for your clinic. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

If you live out of the area, please call

1-800-323-8942. Ask for the doctor on call for your clinic.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.