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Testing for GERD

Why Choose Memorial Heartburn Center for your GERD treatment?

At Memorial Heartburn Center we consider each patient individually for specific symptoms. We test for those symptoms to develop a wellness plan or surgical procedure specific to your needs, we offer the latest in medical testing pH, BRAVO, Manometry, Upper GI and EGD.

Diagnostic Testing for GERD

Your physician may suspect GERD based on your symptoms and medical history. To more accurately diagnose your condition, we offer the following tests.

24-hour Esophageal pH Monitoring

This test is the best way to confirm reflux. A 24-hour pH monitoring system uses a small tube passed through the nose or mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. The tube remains in place for 24 hours and monitors the amount and frequency of stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus.

Placement of the catheter takes about 30 minutes, and a nurse will review the monitoring instructions with you. You can then leave and return the next day to have the tube removed. During the 24-hour test, you can swallow, talk and breathe freely.

Preparing for the Test

  • Stop your heartburn medications seven days before your procedure:   Prilosec (Omeprazole), Bexiun (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Dexilant (dexlansoprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), Zegerid (omeprazole/sodium bicarb)
  • Stop the following medications two days prior to your procedure:  Pepcid (famotidine), Zantac (ranitidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Axid (nizatidine)
  • You may have Tums or Mylanta up to midnight the night before your procedure.
  • Do not eat anything 8 hours prior to your procedure
  • Do not drink anything 6 hours prior to your procedure: This includes chewing gum, mints and hard candies.
  • No smoking

Barium Swallow Exam

This exam involves a series of X-rays of the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. The X-rays are taken before and after drinking a contrast material called barium, a thick, white, chalky, milkshake-like liquid. The barium coats the inside lining of your GI tract, making it more visible on the X-ray.

The barium swallow exam shows if you’re experiencing reflux. It also reveals issues such as Hiatal hernias.

Preparing for the Test

  • Do not eat for at least eight hours before the test
  • Do not drink for at least six hours before the test
  • You will be able to drive following this test

Esophageal Manometry

This test will enable your doctor to obtain information about the pressures and function of the muscles used to help food go down after you swallow.

Your nasal passages will be numbed with a topical anesthetic/lubricant.  While sitting upright, a thin, flexible tube will be placed through your nostril and down into your stomach as you swallow.

Preparing for the Manometry procedure:

  • Do Not eat for at least eight hours prior to your procedure
  • Do NOT drink for at least six hours prior to your procedure:
  • Do NOT take the following medication until after your procedure:  Pain medications such as Percocet, tramadol, morphine, Dilaudid, oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone or Vicodin
  • Do NOT take sedatives or anti-anxiety medications such as: Ativan, Xanax, valium or amitriptyline unless authorized by your physician
  • Do NOT take promotility medications such as reglan, erythromycin or domperidone.

Other medications may be taken up to two hours before the procedure with a small sip of water.  If you are diabetic, please follow your physician’s instructions regarding medications dosage.

If you have a question about which or your medications to take, please ask ahead of time.

Endoscopy

EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy): is a procedure that examines the esophagus, stomach and the first portion of the duodenum (small intestine) using a long flexible tube with a camera at the end of it.  This allows your surgeon to see any irritation or changes to the esophagus, stomach or duodenum.  This is performed under anesthesia and you will need someone to drive you home.

BRAVO pH Test

The BRAVO pH test measures the amount of acidity (pH) in the esophagus.  For this test, your surgeon will adhere a small recording device called a BRAVO capsule to the esophagus to monitor how much acid is flowing backward from the stomach.  This is done under anesthesia during your EGD.

Preparing for the BRAVO procedure:

  • Stop your heartburn medications seven day before your procedure :   Prilosec (Omeprazole), Bexiun (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Dexilant (dexlansoprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), Zegerid (omeprazole/sodium bicarb)
  • Stop the following medications two days prior to your procedure:  Pepcid (famotidine), Zantac (ranitidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), Axid (nizatidine)
  • You may have Tums or Mylanta up to midnight the night before your procedure.
  • Do not eat anything 8 hours prior to your procedure
  • Do not drink anything 6 hours prior to your procedure: This includes chewing gum, mints and hard candies.
  • No smoking
  • You will have anesthesia and you will need a driver to take you home.

Memorial Heartburn Center

Memorial Heartburn Center provides extraordinary care for patients struggling with heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Our experienced Heartburn team has extensive training and perform a range of advanced diagnostic and treatment procedures to help ease patients' symptoms.