How To Prepare
To prepare for an esophagus test:
- Do not take antacids (such as Tums or Rolaids)
for 24 hours before
- Follow your doctor's instructions for using other acid reducers or blockers, such as famotidine (Pepcid) or omeprazole (Prilosec), before the test.
- Do not
drink alcohol or smoke for 24 hours before the test.
- Do not eat or
drink for 8 to 12 hours before testing.
- Tell your doctor if you
have any other problems, such as enlarged esophageal blood vessels (esophageal
heart failure, or other heart conditions.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding
the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may
mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
You will be seated. You may be given a spray medicine that numbs your nose and throat.
For each esophagus test, a thin, flexible tube will be passed through your nose
or mouth to your lower esophagus and stomach. This may make you feel like you
have to gag. To help overcome this feeling, concentrate on breathing slowly.
Your pulse and blood pressure may be monitored while the tube is being
- A probe that measures pH will be passed
through your nose or mouth into your lower esophagus. The probe monitors the pH
in your esophagus so your doctor can tell whether the pH drops because of
liquid from your stomach backing up into your esophagus.
prolonged pH monitoring, the pH probe is attached to a small recorder. You
carry the recorder by a strap around your waist or over your shoulder. The
probe measures the pH of your esophagus for up to 24 hours while you go about
your routine daily activities. During the monitoring period, you will need to
use a diary to keep track of your activities and any symptoms you develop. You
may be asked to avoid high-acid foods such as fruit, fruit juice, and tomatoes
during the testing period. You will not be able to take a bath, except for a
careful sponge bath, or do anything else that might get the monitor wet during
the recording period.
- For wireless pH monitoring, a capsule
containing a pH-sensitive transmitter is placed in your esophagus during an
endoscopy procedure. You carry a small pager-sized receiver in your pocket or
wear it around your waist. During the monitoring period, you will need to
use a diary to keep track of your activities and any symptoms you develop. You will be instructed to press the symptom button
when you have
heartburn, chest pain, or
regurgitation. You can bathe during the monitoring
period. When the testing period is over, return the receiver and your diary to
your doctor for evaluation. The transmitter capsule will pass out of your body
in a bowel movement, usually within a few days.
- You will swallow a small tube attached to
instruments (transducers) that measure pressure. The tube has holes in it that
sense pressure along the esophagus. It will be positioned in different areas of
- You may be asked to swallow several times or to
drink liquids while pressure measurements are taken.
- You may be asked to swallow, not swallow, or hold your breath during the test.
- The results of
the manometry test are displayed as a graph with a wave pattern that can be
interpreted to determine if the esophagus is functioning normally.
If you have multichannel intraluminal impedance (MII) testing done with either pH or manometry, it will be done in very much the same ways as described above. The catheters used to do MII with pH or manometry testing will include instruments that measure volume of food and liquid in the esophagus as well as pH or pressure.