24 Hour Esophageal pH/ Impedance Study | gutCARE

24 Hour Esophageal pH/ Impedance Study



24 Hour Esophageal pH/ Impedance Study

Most people will experience reflux at various points of their lives. There are cases of severe reflux which may affect the lining of the esophagus and cause symptoms like difficulty swallowing, heartburn, chest pain and regurgitation.

The reflux study involves a reflux and motility (movement) study of your esophagus (swallowing tube that transports food from your mouth to your stomach). it is a diagnostic test to determine if you have Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or to identify the cause of various gastrointestinal symptoms present.

The purpose of this study is to check if you have any reflux, and to see if there is a link between your symptoms and reflux. It will also measure the amount of acid that flows from the stomach and into the esophagus during a 24-hour period.

The study involves 2 parts:

Firstly, a small thin tube, that measures pressures, will be placed through your nose into your esophagus. You will then be made to swallow a few sips of water while pressure and distance recordings are taken. The tube will then be removed.

Secondly, a thin wire, that has sensors to measure both reflux and acidity, is passed down the same pathway into the esophagus based on the pressure measurements taken. Afterwards, it is secured with a bit of tape to your nostril and attached to a small handphone-sized device. This wire is left in place for 24hrs to record reflux. You will return the next day to have the device removed.

Many people are worried if this study will affect their daily lives. In fact, once the wire and recorder are inserted, you are advised to carry out your daily routine as per normal, with NO dietary restrictions. The only restrictions are no swimming is allowed, as the data recorder cannot be wetted; and not to go near an MRI machine.

There is minimal risk, and the process is the same as inserting a small thin feeding tube. It will not interfere with eating, drinking or swallowing in any way.

Is there any preparation for the study?

  1. No strong acid suppressants (proton pump inhibitors) 10-14 days before the study, unless otherwise advised by your doctor
  2. No food or drink for 6 hours before the study
  3. No prokinetic medication the day before and on the day of the study (ask your doctor if you’re not sure)

Being properly prepared for the reflex study helps to ensure accurate results and reduce factors that may affect the study. Reflux study is performed at our gutCARE Alvernia clinic by our neurogastromotility specialist. During the study period, you can record down your primary symptoms, the times you are eating and drinking, and when you are lying down (either sleeping or napping).You will need to return the next day to have the recorder removed, and the data downloaded and analysed. The report will be set to your specialist within the next week, where he will discuss with you on your test result and advise on the next course of action suitable for you to help you overcome your esophageal symptoms.

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