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Gastroenterology Clinic of San Antonio

48 Hour pH Probe

48 Hour Bravo pH probe is a procedure that enables your physician to detect the presence of acid refluxing into the esophagus. It is done by passing a thin flexible catheter into the esophagus while you are asleep and sending you home for 48 hours.

WHY IS THE 48 HOUR pH PROBE DONE?

48 Hour pH probe is usually performed to evaluate symptoms of chest pain, difficult to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease or if surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease is being contemplated. It may also determine if there is a relationship between a variety of symptoms and acid reflux.

WHAT PREPARATION IS REQUIRED?

It is necessary to have a completely empty stomach for the safest and best possible examination. Stop all solid food intake 8 hours prior to exam and stop clear liquids 6 hours prior to procedure. You may or may not be required to stop your stomach medications 3 days before the examination. Please ask doctor.

WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED DURING 48 HOUR pH PROBE?

First you are sedated so you are asleep and comfortable. While you are asleep the regular upper endoscope is advanced through your mouth into your esophagus and a small pH recording device is attached to the lining of your esophagus. This is painless and is small enough that once you are awake after the procedure you can eat and drink normally.  There will be a small recording device you may attach to your belt. There will be a diary for you to record time of meals, sleep and any symptoms you may have (heartburn, chest pain or tightness, knot in throat, etc.). After 48 hours, you will return to the endoscopy center and turn in your diary and recording device. The data will be analyzed and you will be contacted by the office several days later for the results.

WHAT ARE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS OF A 48 HOUR PH PROBE?

The placement of a pH probe is generally safe. Complications can occur but are rare when the test is performed by physicians with special training and experience in this procedure. PERFORATION (a tear that might require surgery for repair) are very uncommon (less than 0.1%). It is important for you to recognize early signs of any possible complication. If you begin to run a fever after the test, begin to have trouble swallowing, or have increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain, let your doctor know right away.

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