Esophageal pH Monitoring


 

What is this procedure?

Esophageal pH monitoring is a test which measures the level of acid in your esophagus, or how often it enters the esophagus and how long it remains. During an esophageal pH test, a very thin tube is passed through the nose or mouth and into the esophagus. It is attached to a monitor which measures the level of acidity present in the esophagus. The test lasts 24 hours and as the monitor keeps track of activity, you will be asked to keep a diary of symptoms during the 24 hour period. Upon conclusion of the test, the diary notes and results from the monitor will be compared.

 

Why would one need this type of procedure?

Your gastroenterologist may recommend this procedure in order to diagnose GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Because of the accuracy afforded by directly monitoring the pH level of the esophagus, it is considered to be a nearly ideal diagnosis tool. It can also be used to determine the effectiveness of various treatment options.

 

Is this type of procedure safe? What are the risks?

 

Yes, esophageal pH monitoring is a safe procedure. Many patients report mild discomfort in the back of the throat during swallowing, the majority of patients have no difficulty eating, sleeping, or going about their daily activities.

 

How can this procedure help me?

If you are experiencing persistent symptoms such as heartburn and acid reflux, it can be a safe and reliable method of diagnosing GERD, or determining the severity of symptoms. Successful treatment of any gastrointestinal disease depends upon early diagnosis. Please give us a call if you have any questions – we are here to help!