Esophageal pH Testing
What is it?
Benefits & Risks
Esophageal pH testing allows your gastroenterologist to diagnose conditions more easily. Patients may resume normal activities even while the transmitter records information. Doctors can diagnose diseases correlated with acid exposure, like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
As with any procedure or treatment, side effects can occur. Please discuss any possible side effects with your doctor.
What to Expect
You will be given specific instructions to prepare for your test. Before your procedure, you will need to have an empty stomach. Your physician will request that you don’t eat or drink after midnight on the day of your procedure. Additionally, if you take any blood-thinning medication, your physician may request that you stop using for 3-5 days before the test.
During the procedure, a pill-sized transmitter is temporarily attached to the lower esophagus to record acid exposure. This tiny device then transmits acid exposure information to a pocket-sized receiver worn on the belt like a pager. While the receiver is gathering information, you will be asked to record your symptoms, so they can be correlated with the acid exposure results on the receiver. Information can be gathered in this way for up to 48 hours.
Eventually, the transmitter falls off painlessly and is passed in the stool. The receiver is returned to the nurses who are supervising the exam for the data to be downloaded and then analyzed by a physician.
After your procedure, other than following our advice regarding how you take your medications, you should not restrict your activity or diet.