What is a reflux test?
A reflux diagnosis test provides information about gastro-oesophageal reflux and helps to determine if this is causing your symptoms; it is an important part of the investigation and future management of your condition.
You may be sent for this test if you are having reflux symptoms such as heartburn, belching, chest pain, cough or regurgitation which are caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the oesophagus.
This test is often performed in combination with oesophageal manometry.
How is a reflux test done?
The reflux testing involves inserting a small tube (catheter) through your nose, down your oesophagus and into your stomach. A topical anaesthetic will be applied to your nose to make the passage of the catheter more comfortable. The catheter is attached to a recording device that you will take home with you and wear around your waist for around 24 hours. The test will not affect your breathing, speech or swallowing during this time.
Your physiologist will explain how the recorder works and will tell you what buttons you need to press and when. You will need to press buttons when you experience symptoms, when you have anything to eat or drink, and when you are lying down in order to get a fully comprehensive result from your reflux diagnosis test.
You will go home with this in place and continue your normal daily activities, including eating and drinking as you normally would, to give a good representation of your usual symptoms.
You will need to come back to the clinic the following day to have your tube removed, which takes 5 – 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can choose to take the tube out yourself at home, which is very easy to do. Then simply send it, and the recorder back to us using a freepost envelope.
How much does a reflux test cost?
If you are paying for this reflux diagnosis test yourself and not through private medical insurance, the cost will be £1,060.
How do you prepare for reflux testing?
There is some preparation required before your arrival at the clinic. This preparation involves stopping certain medication and fasting. Please see our patient information leaflet for full details.
What does a reflux test show?
This will measure any acidic or non-acidic reflux you get over this period and how it relates to your symptoms.
Following your test, your data will be analysed and results written up into a report. The report will be sent to both you and your referring consultant/doctor, who will explain the results to you in a follow-up consultation where they will advise you on the next step in managing your symptoms.
All of the staff were friendly and nice. When I had questions the staff checked on me and made me feel supported. Lovely experience. Everyone had smiles, and they took time to explain and make me feel welcome.London Patient