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Esophageal Ph Test

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

Why do I need an esophageal pH test?

An esophageal pH test measures the amount of stomach acid that reaches your esophagus. This test is often used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

How do I prepare for the test?

What will happen during the test?

You may receive medicine to numb the area or help you relax. A catheter (small tube) will be inserted into your nose or mouth. The catheter is used to lower a probe into your esophagus. The probe may stay attached to the catheter. If so, the catheter is taped to your nose to hold it in place. Sometimes the probe is wireless, so the catheter is removed after the probe is placed.

Esophageal pH Test

What should I expect after the test?

The probe will measure your stomach acid levels while you go about your usual daily activities. The measurements are transferred to a small storage device that you wear at your waist or shoulder. You must return to have the catheter removed the next day. The wireless probe can collect data for 2 days or more. It will travel through your digestive system and come out in a bowel movement.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.