Esophageal Impedance Test in Illinois
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What is esophageal impedance testing?
Esophageal impedance testing, also known as esophageal 24-hour impedance reflux monitoring, is a 24-hour test that monitors and measures the amount of acidic and non-acidic reflux that enters your esophagus from your stomach over the period of a day. This test helps your provider determine if the reflux you are having is the cause of any symptoms you might be experiencing, such as heartburn, cough, sore throat, or regurgitation. This exam is most commonly performed on patients who are candidates for possible endoscopic or surgical anti-reflux repair. Esophageal impedance testing also helps GI Alliance of Illinois providers diagnose many symptoms that patients in Illinois are experiencing, including:
- Chest pain
- Reflux refractory to PPI
- Acid Reflux
- Recurring pneumonia
- Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
If you are having any of the above symptoms and feel that esophageal 24-hour impedance reflux monitoring might be beneficial for you, contact a GI Alliance of Illinois provider in your area.
How is an esophageal impedance test performed?
During an esophageal impedance test, a small catheter will be placed through your nasal passage, and into your esophagus by swallowing drinks of water. The catheter will run across your cheek, over your ear, and down to your waist where it will be attached to a data recorder. This device will pass on any information it records to a computer that will store and process the data. During the 24-hour period, you should be able to complete your normal daily activities like eating, breathing, and talking without interference from the catheter.
Although most patients can complete the test without any discomfort, you may experience slight discomfort in the back of the throat during the monitoring period. To learn more about the esophageal impedance test or to schedule this exam, contact a GI Alliance of Illinois location near you.
How should I prepare for an esophageal impedance test?
Since the purpose of the esophageal impedance test is to evaluate your reflux, it is most likely that your provider will request for you to stop taking any current reflux medications, such as Prilosec, Prevacid®, or Dexilant®, as early as seven days prior to the exam. If you are having difficulty with your reflux, Tums® or other antacids are usually allowed up until 6 hours before the test is scheduled to begin, however, you will not be allowed to take any antacids or reflux medications once the test begins or during the 24-hour period.
To get the most accurate results, it is important that you go about your normal activities while the test is being performed. For most patients, other medications you may be on can be continued as normal, however, in some cases, your GI Alliance of Illinois provider will give you specific instructions regarding your medication, especially for patients on blood thinners such as Coumadin®, Warfarin, or Plavix®, as well patients who may be diabetic. Please request a consultation with a GI specialist at GI Alliance of Illinois to determine if esophageal impedance testing might be beneficial in diagnosing your reflux symptoms.
What happens on the day of the test?
On the day of your esophageal impedance test, you will need to arrive at the endoscopy center at least 30 minutes before the test to fill out paperwork and complete necessary preparatory procedures. Once you are in the procedure room and lying on the exam table, one of your nostrils will be numbed with lidocaine. A thin, flexible catheter will then be inserted into your nostril and down into the esophagus. Once the tube is in your esophagus, you will be given water and asked to take sips to open up the passage of the esophagus while the catheter is advanced into the correct position. Once correctly placed, the catheter is connected to the data recorder, and the excess tubing is positioned over your ear.
The placement of the catheter will take approximately 15 – 30 minutes and since no sedation is used for the exam, you will be able to leave as soon as you are finished. Your GI Alliance of Illinois provider will give you discharge instructions following the procedure. Although most patients can return to their normal diet and activity level, it is vital to follow all discharge instructions specific to your health care needs given by your provider.
The esophageal impedance test will monitor the pH levels of the esophagus for a full 24-hour period. After that time, you will need to return to the endoscopy center to have the catheter removed. To discuss esophageal impedance testing in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL,, please contact a GI Alliance of Illinois provider in your area.
When will I get my results?
The results from your esophageal impedance test will not be available immediately following your exam. The data gathered from the esophageal impedance test will first need to be analyzed by a computer. From that analysis, graphs and tables will be created. The results will then be sent to your GI Alliance of Illinois provider, where they will be interpreted. Generally, you will be contacted with results within one week.
Typically, the esophageal impedance test is an extremely safe procedure with fewer than 1 percent of patients experiencing any type of complications. Although generally safe, all procedures come with some risk. Before having an esophageal impedance test, you will be asked to complete a consent form reviewing the risks of the procedure. Most complications that do occur are not serious, however, when a complication does occur, it may require surgery or hospitalization. Some complications that may occur, although rare, include perforation or puncture of the esophagus. This complication may not be immediately evident and may become apparent later in the day. If symptoms such as bleeding, fever, or worsening abdominal pain occur, contact your GI Alliance of Illinois provider immediately.
Like all exams, the esophageal impedance test is not perfect. There is a possibility that abnormalities may be missed at the time of the exam. It is imperative to continue follow-up care with your provider if you experience any symptoms that are new or persistent. To discuss the risks and benefits involved with having an esophageal impedance test in Illinois, please contact a GI Alliance of Illinois provider near you.
What are the alternatives to an esophageal impedance test?
Alternatives to the esophageal impedance test include the Bravo® 48-hour pH probe. This procedure requires a small pH monitor to be attached to the bottom section of the esophagus through a catheter. Unlike the esophageal impedance test, the catheter on the Bravo 48-hour pH probe is removed and only the monitor will remain in place. An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is often used to correctly place the monitor. Once in place, the monitor will wirelessly transmit information to the data recorder worn on a belt for the duration of the 48-hour test. The monitor on the Bravo 48-hour pH probe will not need to be removed, it will detach on its own and exit the body through the digestive tract.
Some of the reasons a GI Alliance of Illinois provider might order a Bravo 48-hour pH probe study include:
- Evaluate GERD
- Chest pain
- Prior to esophageal surgery
It is important to speak with your GI Alliance of Illinois provider if you would like to know more about the benefits of the esophageal impedance test or discuss alternative treatment options available to you.
Esophageal impedance testing to evaluate your reflux symptoms
At GI Alliance of Illinois, your comfort and care are our highest priorities. If you are having heartburn, chest pain, or acid reflux, let our skilled GI specialists help by analyzing the situation through diagnostic testing and creating a treatment plan uniquely designed for your health care needs. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of esophageal impedance testing in Illinois, contact a GI Alliance of Illinois provider in your area to request a consultation and let your healing begin.
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