Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition in which the stomach contents reflux into the oesophagus (food pipe). Reflux can cause disturbing symptoms such as heartburn, feeling of food coming up the food pipe, cough, and chest pain. These symptoms may be severe and troublesome causing interference with daily activities and disturbed sleep. Early diagnosis and treatment of this condition with proper lifestyle modification can minimize damage to the food pipe and improve quality of life.
24h oesophagal pH metry is a test to confirm the presence of reflux and to assess the severity of reflux. The test results can be used effectively to tailor the medical treatment and to decide on the requirement of endoscopic or surgical methods of treating GERD.
At AIG, we offer a more sophisticated diagnostic test wherein 24h pH metry is combined with a special technique called as ‘impedance’. Impedance technique is superior to plain 24h pH metry and gives greater information about the disease. Both the techniques combined together not only detect acid reflux but also different types of neutral and alkaline liquid reflux.
During the test, a thin flexible catheter will be passed across the nose under local anaesthesia and the end of the catheter will be positioned in the stomach. The catheter will be connected to a small pocket machine that the patient can carry along with him. Following placement of the catheter, the patient can carry out normal daily routine activities and eat as usual. The patient would be instructed to press a few buttons present in the machine whenever he has symptoms, during major meals and at sleep. The catheter along with the machine will be removed the next day after completion of 24 hours. Admission to the hospital is not mandatory for the procedure. The patient can go back home and return to the hospital the next day for the removal of the catheter.
The following information will be obtained from the test results that can guide the physician:
The above information can enable the physician in providing customized treatment and hence, proper management of GERD.
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