Esophageal Motility and pH Study

What is Esophageal Motility and pH Study?

ESOPHAGEAL MOTILITY AND pH STUDY – an esophageal motility study is a diagnostic test that will evaluate the function of your esophagus. This study is performed to help identify causes for various symptoms such as difficulty swallowing and/or chest pain. This study also is performed before certain medical procedures such as anti-reflux surgery. The pH study is a separate test do determine if you have GERD (GASTRO-ESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE) where stomach contents moves upward into the esophagus.

What to Expect

A small flexible tube is gently inserted through the nose into the esophagus. You may feel a little pressure in your nose or minor throat irritation as the tube is passed. The sensation will subside once the tube is positioned. The tube will be secured at your nose and attached to a recording device. You will be asked to swallow fluids at different times during the study. During the study you will be able to talk and swallow normally, but you should try to talk and swallow only when instructed. When the test is complete the tube will be removed. If the physician scheduled a pH study another tube will be passed through your nose into the esophagus and once in place it will be secured to your nose and be attached to a recording device. You will keep this tube in place for 24 hours. The motility study and placing the pH probe takes 60 – 90 minutes. When you return the following day to have the probe removed you will be here 5-10 minutes. For both procedures you will be able to drive yourself to and from the hospital.

What Happens After

When you go home you will resume normal activities, including your regular diet, work, recreation and sleep. While the tube is in place you will not be able to bathe, shower or swim. The tube will be connected to a recording device which you will be instructed on before you leave the hospital. When the tube is removed the recordings will be downloaded and Dr. Cramer will review the study. You will have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Cramer to go over the findings.