Acid Reflux Testing at New Victoria Hospital
Wireless pH Monitoring during a routine gastroscopy is offered in order to obtain more accurate objective information regarding acidity levels in the oesophagus.
Reflux refers to stomach contents (e.g. stomach acid, food) riding up or flowing from the stomach into the oesophagus (food pipe). It is also called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). This can lead to unpleasant symptoms of heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, sore throat, cough, sickness and vomiting. Acid reflux can lead to inflammation in the oesophagus (oesophagitis) and sometimes cause a condition known as Barrett’s oesophagus.
Causes of acid reflux include:
- Gastroparesis (delayed emptying of the stomach)
- Relaxation of the lower oesophagus sphincter (a muscle valve)
- Hiatus hernia (stomach displacing) into the chest
- Being overweight or obese
- Lifestyle factors (e.g. Diet, alcohol intake, smoking, sleeping habits)
Acid reflux or GORD is usually diagnosed by the clinical symptoms and gastroscopy is an important test to ensure there is no inflammation or changes in the oesophagus lining such as Barrett’s oesophagus.
Wireless pH monitoring in a gastroscopy offers significant advantages including:
- Simple, safe and easy-to-perform
- Well-tolerated and non-invasive (compared with nasal catheter pH monitoring, which can be uncomfortable and visible)
- Better objective analysis and results regarding acid reflux and correlation with patient’s day to day activities and lifestyle factors such as meals and sleeping
- Continued monitoring for 48 hours and up to 96 hours (contrasting with 24-hour ambulatory nasal catheter pH monitoring)
- No follow up catheter removal procedure required
- In-depth analysis can help guide management, eg. If anti-reflux surgery is being considered
During the routine gastroscopy procedure, a small pH capsule is painlessly attached to the oesophageal lining in a simple process. Unlike conventional pH monitoring systems which use catheters, patients are left feeling much less aware of the procedure and as a result more likely to maintain their regular lifestyle, activities and diet. This provides the clinician with a more realistic profile of the frequency and severity of the acid reflux.
The pH value within the oesophagus is monitored continuously for 48 hours and can be used up to 4 full days (96 hours). Data is transmitted wirelessly to an external data recorder, worn by the patient in a shoulder strap or belt. The capsule will then naturally drop from the oesophageal lining and be passed out, not requiring any retrieval.
Once the recording is complete, the data is uploaded and analysed by computer software and interpreted by Dr Rishi Goel, an experienced Gastroenterologist Specialist,
The specialist is then able to provide the patient with a detailed report of the pH monitoring findings and offer tailored treatment such as lifestyle and medical therapy.
If you would like to receive more information on Acid Reflux Testing with a Wireless pH Monitor or to make an appointment with Dr Goel, please contact our Outpatient Department on 020 8949 9020 or fill in our online form.
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