What are pH Probe Studies?
pH probe studies are tests doctors use to help substantiate the diagnosis of GERD and to distinguish the cause of various symptoms, including:
- Heartburn , mainly in patients who have had a routine endoscopy, yet failed medical treatment, or in cases which the patient may be considered as a candidate for surgery
- Uncommon symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), such as chest pain, persistent dry cough or chronic cough, asthma and other throat symptoms
pH probe studies may also be done to assess the effectiveness of current treatments for heartburn or reflux. Doctors advise the procedure for those whose symptoms are not improving with medications.
How do they work?
Gastroenterologists use pH probe studies to diagnose, and treat chronic acid reflux by implanting a thin tube into the esophagus. Over 24 hours, the frequency or acid reflux into the esophagus can be evaluated objectively. Typically, doctors use this test to help substantiate the diagnosis of GERD and to distinguish the cause of various symptoms, such as heartburn or chronic cough.
How to Prepare:
Do not eat or drink 6 hours before the test. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, have a lung or heart condition or any other diseases, or are allergic to any medications.
Can I Continue to Take Medication Before the Test?
There are several medications that may affect results. Make sure to talk to your doctor about all medications you are taking before participating in the test.
Do not stop taking any medication without first consulting with your primary or referring doctor.