What can I expect during an esophageal pH test?

A 24- or 48-hour esophageal pH study measures how much stomach acid backs up into the food pipe in 24 or 48 hours, respectively. For the 24-hour esophageal pH study, a technician places a catheter into your nose, guides it into your stomach, and secures it. The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes, and the patient is not sedated. The catheter is then left in your stomach for 24 hours. After the procedure is complete, patients will receive instructions on how to measure their daily activities. The 48-hour (Bravo) esophageal pH study is combined with an upper endoscopy procedure.

After you check in, a nurse will meet with you to review your medical conditions and medications. An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in a vein in your arm. You will proceed to the procedure room, where your blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen level will be carefully monitored. A sedative will also be administered through your IV. You will soon feel drowsy, and while some people fall asleep, others remain awake during the procedure. A small capsule will be clipped to the lower part of the esophagus and then you will have to rest for a while until the effects of the medicine wear off. The test itself usually takes less than an hour.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.