Esophageal pH monitoring is a test used to evaluate for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to determine the effectiveness of medications that prevent acid reflux. This test measures mainly the amount of acid refluxing or backing up from the stomach into the esophagus (food pipe). This is accomplished with special sensors attached to a thin tube (catheter) placed through the nose into the esophagus. The catheter is connected to a small portable device which records esophageal data in real-time, while the patient follows his/her everyday activities.
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO AVOID
Catheter placement is simple, well-tolerated and does not require sedation. You will return home immediately and continue all daily activities. You should mark all meals, sleep periods and symptoms in the provided diary and by pressing the respective buttons on the portable device. The diary is necessary for data interpretation. The recorder should kept away from water (no showers allowed) and at least 1 meter away from active microwave ovens or mobile phones. You will return after 24 hrs for catheter removal and transfer of all data to a PC for later analysis.
You will get the results within 24 hrs. As these may be part of a workup for surgery or may define the cause of your symptoms, you will have time for a detailed discussion with your doctor.