Acid Reflux (GERD) Study
The 24-hour esophageal pH test is an outpatient procedure performed to measure the pH or amount of acid that flows into the esophagus from the stomach during a 24-hour period. This diagnostic test will help determine whether or not you have Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
GERD is a condition in which stomach contents move upward into the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular hollow tube that transports food from your mouth to your stomach.
Everyone has some reflux at various times. However, severe reflux may damage the lining of the esophagus and cause symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
Preparing for the Study
To properly prepare for your reflux study and ensure accurate results, you may need to make changes to your daily routine. Your doctor or nurse will provide you with specific instructions. Please check with your doctor to ensure that you are not taking anything that may affect your study.
Your Procedure Appointment
Do not eat or drink anything in the 6 hours prior to your appointment. You will also want to wear a garment to your appointment that fastens in the front and can be easily removed at bedtime. Finally, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions concerning you medications.
What to Expect
The study involves having a small flexible tube gently inserted through the nose into the esophagus. You may feel a little pressure in your nose or a minor amount of throat irritation as the tube is passed. This sensation will subside once the tube is positioned. The tube will be secured at your nose and attached to a recording device. The tube will not interfere with your breathing, swallowing or eating.
Your doctor or nurse will give you specific instructions to guide your activities during the study period.
- Go about your normal activities, including your regular diet, work, recreation and sleep. If you know how to bring on your symptoms, you are encouraged to do so.
- Do not take a bath, shower, or swim.
- You will be able to drive yourself home.
- You will be asked to return to the doctor’s office at the end of the study.
- Your doctor will review your test results and discuss them with you at a later date.