JOSE ERBELLA, M.D., FACS
General, Oncologic & Minimally Invasive Surgeries
Call for Appointment
DIAGNOSING GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE
Making an initial diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) usually only requires your doctor to perform a history and physical. Because the symptoms of heartburn are similar to those of a heart attack, your doctor may perform tests to ensure that your symptoms do not indicate a more serious heart related problem.
In cases where you have been diagnosed with GERD but have not responded to conservative treatments or your symptoms are associated with bleeding or swallowing problems, your doctor may wish to perform a diagnostic test to help find the most appropriate treatment for your GERD symptoms.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS FOR GERD
Upper Endoscopy: During an upper endoscopy, your doctor passes a narrow, flexible tube containing a tiny video camera through your mouth and down your esophagus inot the stomach. The camera gives your doctor a direct view of damage caused by reflux and may reveal other issues that are causing your symptoms. An upper endoscopy is also called a EGD or esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy.
pH monitoring: pH studies use a thin catheter inserted through the nose to measure the acidity of liquids in the esophagus. With the catheter in place, you continue a normal day while logging your activities and any symptoms you experience. Your doctor can then compare the acidity in your esophagus with your daily activities for a more accurate picture of the seriousness of your disease.
Manometry: A manometer measures pressures in the esophagus and stomach and monitors the effectiveness of your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Manometry is used if muscular abnormality or nerve conduction issues are suspected.
Barium Swallow: A barium study is a common test often called an upper GI series. It is used to identify structural problems in the esophagus such as strictures, ulcers, erosions, and hiatal hernia. After drinking a chalky liquid containing barium, a series of x-rays are taken. The barium solution coats the esophageal wall revealing any structural problems.