Two tests that measure the function of the esophagus include PH studies and esophageal manometry, While studies of the esophagus measures the amount of acidic pH that flows into the esophagus from the stomach during 24 hours, the test known as esophageal manometry identifies problems with movement and pressure in the esophagus that may lead to problems like heartburn.
WHY PH MONITORING OR ESOPHAGEAL MANOMETRY MIGHT BE ORDERED BY YOUR DOCTOR
The esophageal manometry test is often given to people who have the following conditions:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Heartburn or reflux
- Non-cardiac chest pain
- Prior to anti-reflux surgery
The test is concerned with the motor functioning of the upper esophageal sphincter (UES), esophageal body and lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
pH testing is frequently done to identify the causes of heartburn and uncommon symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) such as chest pain, asthma, or chronic cough. When your doctor orders pH testing of the esophagus he may want the answer to one of several questions.
- Why do some symptoms associated with GERD not respond to medication?
- Does the patient really have Gerd or are is the problem that anti-acid medications insufficient to acid production?
- Are symptoms associated with GERD such as sore throat, hoarseness, chest pain coughing or wheezing due to GERD or some other condition
Since esophageal functioning and pH levels are affected by medications, preparation for either test usually requires backing off certain medicines for a couple weeks. These medication classifications include:
- Proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec, Prevacid, or Nexium
- H2 blockers such as Zantac, Tagamet, or Pepcid
- Antacids oh, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, a milk of magnesia
- Calcium channel blockers, such as Caln, Adalat, or Cardizem
- Nitrates, such as nitroglycerin, I sorbitol, are nitro patch
Your doctor will evaluate your complete medication list and tell you when to stop taking certain medications before your test.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TEST
Traditionally, pH monitoring is done by inserting a small probe through your nostril and positioning it near the lower esophagus. The probe plugs into a small monitor on your belt or over your shoulder that records when symptoms occur and when you eat and lie down. The test takes 24 hours to complete, The new technology for doing this test includes the BRAVO device, which uses a small capsule placed into your esophagus with an endoscope.
Esophageal manometry also inserts a probe in the nostril that goes down your esophagus into your stomach. The tube is connected to a machine that records the contractions of the esophageal muscles on a graph for 30-40 minutes.
SCHEDULE AT OASIS ADVANCED GASTROENTEROLOGY
Esophageal manometry and pH testing can help find out why you have heartburn and other symptoms. Contact Oasis Advanced Gastroenterology in Palm Springs to schedule testing with Dr. Asgeri.
Request an appointment online or call 760-699-7607.