Esophageal pH Test
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD or simply as reflux, involves stomach acid flowing up the esophagus—casuing patients pain and discomfort. Symptoms can include a burning sensation or chronic cough. Doctors use specific tests to find out what the cause of GERD is in an individual and how it should be treated.
An esophageal pH test allows doctors to find out if current treatments are working, why current treatments are not working and if symptoms are caused by GERD or other issues.
This test takes place over the span of 24 hours. Doctors insert a very small tube into the esophagus via the nose. The probe attaches to a monitoring unit that records data throughout the duration of the test. The monitor is usually worn at the hip much like a Walkman. In most cases, patients can go home during the test.
Certain medications should be avoided during the test, since it’s important that the patient’s body reacts normally to eating and drinking. The probe measures the way the body processes normal meals and how reflux symptoms change throughout the day.
At Palmyra Surgical in Georgia, doctors use the esophageal pH test to help determine the appropriate course of action. It’s especially helpful for patients who may not be getting the best results from medication treatments.