Wireless capsule pH monitoring is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and evaluate the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the effectiveness of GERD treatment.
The procedure, which is performed while the patient is under sedation, uses an endoscope (a narrow tube with a camera) to clip a small capsule (the size of a pencil eraser or less) to the esophagus’ bottom section.
The transmitter transfers the data to a recording device one wears on a belt, and the sensor probe in the capsule measures and records the acid levels (pH) at the target location over time. The doctor then downloads this data and uses it to assess the severity of the reflux.
Prior to the procedure, the doctor will provide instructions to be followed before the test is done.
The patient might need to temporarily stop using medication that suppresses stomach acid for about a week prior to the test. On the other hand, in order for the test to determine how well the patient’s medications are functioning, the doctor may advise him/her to continue taking them.
The patient should remember to inform the doctor of any allergies such as nickel allergy since the capsule contains a small amount of nickel.
The patient should also plan for someone to drive him/her home following the surgery since anesthesia is involved.
The procedure is considered fairly safe. However, in some individuals, the capsule device may cause discomfort while swallowing food and in rare cases, chest pain.
There are, however, a group of patients for whom the test may pose other risks. The doctor may recommend a different diagnostic test in case of the following: