Oesophageal Manometry(measurement of pressures in the oesophagus) and 48hr pH recording(measurement of the amount of acidity in the oesophagus) are normally used to investigate gastro oesophageal reflux and heartburn. They are useful in diagnosing the problem in people with atypical symptoms and also in assessing suitability for surgical treatment. Manometry is useful in diagnosing swallowing problems.
These two procedures are usually performed together. In oesophageal manometry a fine probe is passed down through the nose into the oesophagus or gullet and pressures within the gullet are measured. This is then followed by a radio capsule being attached to the lining of the oesophagus under sedation. This then transmits information to a radio receiver (which the patient carries around with them) about the amount of acid that is refluxing from the stomach up into the oesophagus. The recording continues for 48 hrs. The receiver falls off the lining of the oesophagus on its own after 2-3 days. The information is then obtained from the recorder and the results interpreted.
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