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Esophagus Tests

How It Feels

The local anesthetic sprayed into your nose and throat usually tastes slightly bitter. It will make your tongue and throat feel numb and swollen.

When the tube goes through your nose or mouth into your esophagus, 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.

If you have a test that involves adding acid to your stomach, you may have heartburn pain and other symptoms of acid reflux.

If you have the wireless pH monitoring, you may be able to feel the capsule in your esophagus. You will not feel the capsule when it detaches and passes through your intestines and out of your body in your stool.

After the test is over, your nose and throat may feel sore. But this should improve within a day or so.


The chances that you will have problems from an esophagus test are rare.

  • You may get a nosebleed.
  • You may have irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).
  • The tube may go down the windpipe (trachea) instead of the esophagus as it is being inserted.
  • You may vomit material from your stomach and then breathe it into your lungs (aspiration).
  • The tube may make a hole in the esophagus.


Your esophagus camera.gif is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. It moves food and liquid down to the stomach. Esophagus tests can check how well the muscles in the tube work, how strong the tube is, and the pH (acid content) of the tube. They also can find out how much gas, liquid, and solid move through the esophagus and how well they pass through.

You can usually get your results within a few days.

pH monitoring
  • The pH of the esophagus is not acidic.
  • If acid is placed in the stomach, the pH of the esophagus does not go down.
  • The pH of the lower esophagus is often acidic.
  • If acid is placed in the stomach, the pH of the lower esophagus goes down.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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