Procedural Information – Oesophageal Impendance-pH Study

What is an Esophageal Impedance-pH study?

An ambulatory esophageal 24 hour pH study is an outpatient test that measures the amount of acid or non-acid reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. The sensors placed in the esophagus measure acid concentration which corresponds to acidic reflux and impedance which corresponds to non-acid reflux.

You will wear a data recorder during the test and record symptomatic episodes. Symptoms will be analysed for any correlation to episodes of reflux.

Why is Esophageal Impedance-pH study performed?

Esophageal impedance- pH studies measure the amount of reflux that occurs in a typical 24 hour period.  By analysing episodes of reflux with associated symptoms this test helps your doctor determine if your symptoms are due to gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is an important part of the pre-operative evaluation for gastroesophageal reflux surgery.

What preparation is required?

An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination. Therefore, you should have nothing to eat or drink for FOUR hours before your procedure.

Can I take my current medication?

Most medications can be continued as usual. Tell your doctor about your medications and your allergies.

What happens during an esophageal impedance- pH study?

Esophageal impedance- pH study is a well-tolerated outpatient procedure. You should wear comfortable loose-fitting clothing to our centre. A numbing spray will be placed in your nostril before the procedure.  Our gastroenterologist will then gently insert a thin flexible tube into the nostril and advance the tube into the esophagus. Measurement of the pressures in your esophagus will be made in order to map out the exact location to place the impedance- pH probe. The tube will be discretely secured to your nostril and connected to a data recorder that you will carry on a strap and wear overnight. The procedure itself usually takes approximately 30 minutes, although you should plan to be at our centre for approximately one hour.  This will include preparation and procedure.

What are possible complications of esophageal impedance- pH study?

Esophageal impedance- pH study is very safe when performed by trained and experienced staff. Complications are rare. Patients may have nasal irritation during or after the procedure.

What happens after esophageal impedance- pH study?

You will be able to drive yourself home after placement of the esophageal impedance- pH probe.  DO NOT SHOWER OR TAKE A TUB BATH. THE MONITOR/PROBE MUST NOT GET WET.  The only restriction for eating are: NO GUM OR HARD CANDY DURING THIS TEST.  Whenever you eat you must record it. When you finish eating you must record it.

You are to continue your normal activity as much as possible. Work, exercise and eat. Try to do an activity or eat foods that will reproduce your symptoms. Unless it is your normal habit to nap or recline during the day, we ask you not to do so on the day of your test. At night try to not sleep in a reclining position. Sleep as flat as possible. It does not matter if you sleep on your side or back.

Please remember to record your symptoms as you experience them by pressing the appropriate system button on the monitor. The diary button may be used to record more than one symptom. You will need to write the symptoms for this key on your diary page.

Please keep the monitor on your body at all times except at night. You can take it off and put it under your pillow. Remember ti record your body position by using the upright button when you are upright and the down button when you lying down.

You may or may not be off your acid suppressant medications for this test. Our consultant will determine this. If you are on your medications, take them as you normally would. If you are off your medications, do not take them or use any antacids or tums. Take all of your other medications as you normally would.

Return to our centre the following day, our trained and experienced staff will carefully remove the esophageal probe and collect the data recorder. Removal is quick and painless & should take no more than 10 minutes. The information will be analysed and reviewed by our specialist gastroenterologist. You will need to make appointment to see him in 1-2 weeks for results.

For all enquiries, please ring us on 9044 4200.