This procedure is used to measure the amount of acid refluxed into the esophagus from the stomach. Esophageal pH is used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the determine the effectiveness of medications used to prevent reflux.
In this procedure, a thin, plastic catheter, 1/16" in thickness is placed into an anaesthetized nostril and down the esophagus. The catheter is placed just above the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle which control the reflux of food and acid back into the esophagus from the stomach. There is a sensor on the tip of the catheter which measure the amount of acid reflux. At the other end of the catheter is a recording device. After the catheter is in place, the patient goes home and resume normal activities such as eating, drinking, sleeping and working for a 24-hour period. During this time each and every acid reflux is measure and recorded using the recording device and catheter. The next day the patient has the catheter and recording device removed. The information recorded is then downloaded into a computer and analyzed. There is a new version of this procedure which uses a capsule, which attaches to the lining of the esophagus, instead of a catheter, so patients can be more comfortable without a tube sticking out of their nose.
There are few side-effects to this procedure. Patients may experience a mild discomfort in the back of their throat during and after the procedure. They may also be self-conscious about the catheter and refrain from normal activities such as going to work. With the capsule method, their may be discomfort when swallowing food or saliva.
Find a Brooklyn Gastroenterologist at Practice Brooklyn Gastroenterology and Endoscopy