In conjunction with Oesophageal Manometry, a second part of the test is pH and impedance monitoring which is a procedure in which the pH (or level of acidity) is recorded for a prolonged period.
The information from this test is helpful both to confirm the impression of reflux and to tailor therapy for the individual patient. The impedance measurement detects the direction of liquid flow so we can determine whether the acid sensed by the probe has come from the stomach or has been swallowed.
The pH and Impedance probe is very small (2mm in diameter) and you can go home with it in place and continue with your normal daily activities, returning the following day to have the probe removed, which takes only 5-10 minutes.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
You should not eat for up to 6-12-hours before the test but you can drink water up until the start of the study.
As you will be going home with the pH probe in place wearing certain clothes will make your life easier when getting changed. Try to wear trousers / skirts and loose tops / t-shirts. Dresses and tunics should be avoided if possible.
You will be advised about which medications you should stop before the test.
An acid-sensitive catheter is placed in the oesophagus and is attached to a small monitoring device that records changes in oesophageal pH over an extended period of time (up to 24 hours).
It provides information on the severity and pattern of reflux.
When the tube goes through your nose or mouth into your oesophagus, you may feel like coughing or gagging. The test may be easier if you try to take slow, deep breaths. You may not like the taste of the lubricant on the tube. After the test is over, your throat may feel a little irritable. However, this should improve within a few hours or so.
The results from your 24 hour ambulatory pH and impedance monitoring will be reported on by the consultant clinical scientist and forwarded to your referring consultant where your next steps can be discussed and organised.
The procedure is not really painful because the nostril and throat is anesthetized, but it may feel slightly uncomfortable.
Once the tube is in place patients talk and breathe normally.
You may experience some temporary discomfort in your throat. Over the counter throat lozenges may give some relief.
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The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.