You have been referred to us by your doctor for pH testing. We would like to explain how this procedure works and what you need to know as a patient:
pH testing is a diagnostic method for heartburn and reflux symptoms in which a small acidity sensor (pH capsule probe) is inserted into the oesophagus to measure your pH value. The capsule is attached to a point in the oesophagus that has been previously determined using an endoscope. Once attached, the capsule continuously sends pH values to a recorder that you wear on a belt for 48 hours. The procedure checks how often gastric acid flows up into your oesophagus and how long it stays there.
The capsule dissolves spontaneously and is excreted via the intestine. You can continue your normal activities during the measurement period. After 2 days, please bring the recorder to the practice for us to evaluate.
You must not eat any solid food for six hours before your appointment. Do not drink anything four hours before your appointment. Please bring a list of all the medication you take regularly to the appointment. If you take blood-thinning medication, you need to advise us of this at least one week in advance. If you inject yourself with insulin, you should omit the dose before the examination and bring the result of a finger prick blood test. If you are unsure about anything, please get in touch with us.
You can expect your pH testing appointment to last about 1–1.5 hours. After a preliminary discussion with the doctor, your examination will take place in the endoscopy room and last about 15–20 minutes. In the examination, a flexible tube (endoscope) is used that goes into your mouth. It is fitted with a light and camera at one end. The pH capsule is then placed in the required position using a probe inserted into your mouth and it is then fixed to the mucous membrane of the oesophagus. The examination is performed under anaesthesia (propofol), which means you will be asleep for the procedure. You will wake up quickly after the examination and can rest in the recovery room before having a follow-up discussion with the doctor and returning home. Please note that you must not drive or operate machinery following this procedure. Please therefore arrange for someone to collect you at the end of your appointment.