Patient Education & Resources
Esophageal Clinic
Clinical Research
Frequently Asked Questions
Contacts and Location
 

Patient Education & Resources

Equipment:

24 hour pH testing – A thin plastic catheter is inserted through the nostril and the tip is placed just above the lower esophageal sphincter. The catheter tip has a pH-measuring device that records how much acid refluxes into the esophagus over a 24-hour period.

Bravo Capsule - Under certain circumstances, 48 hour testing for reflux might be required. In these situations, pH measurements are obtained with the use of a capsule that is deployed close to the lower esophageal sphincter. 

Gastroscopy – A minimally invasive medical procedure in which a thin flexible scope with camera and light at the tip is inserted into the mouth through the esophagus, stomach up to the first portion of the small bowel (duodenum). This procedure allows for the diagnosis of diseases of the upper gastrointestinal track. Instruments can be inserted through the scope allowing for biopsies (tissue samples) and minor surgical procedures (such as EMR, RFA)

Impedance – Also called multichannel intraluminal impedance (MII). It is a new medical test that is conducted in conjunction with pH testing. Impedance allows for the detection of all liquids and gases that reflux into the esophagus. This includes weakly acidic and non-acid contents.

Manometry – This measures peristaltic activity and pressure changes within the esophagus following water and viscous liquid swallows. It is also used to measure the pressures of the lower esophageal sphincter at relaxation and during swallows. Its mechanics are similar to impedance (described above).

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) – A minimally invasive medical procedure where a device is attached to the end of a gastroscope to remove precancerous or early cancerous tissue within the lining of the esophagus. It is performed with a gastroscope and the necessary instruments are easily inserted within the channels of the scope.

Radiofrequency Ablation – A minimally invasive medical procedure where the abnormal esophageal tissue is destroyed using high frequency electrical energy. The electrode and catheter used for treatment are inserted in the esophagus with the assistance of a gastroscope.

Esophageal disorders:

Achalasia – A disorder of the esophagus in which the nerves that normally relax the lower esophageal sphincter become progressively damaged. This causes food to become trapped in the esophagus and can cause pain and regurgitation.

Barrett’s Esophagus – A condition in which the normal lining of the esophagus changes (metaplasia) due to repeated exposure to stomach acid, non-acidic contents and bile.

Cricopharyngeal Bar – A thickening above the upper esophageal sphincter.

Diffuse Esophageal Spasm – A rare disorder of the esophagus defined by simultaneous, non-propagative esophageal contractions identified on manometry. Patients complain of difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or chest pain.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis – A disorder of the esophagus in which specialized immune system cells called “eosinophils” accumulate in the esophagus and cause difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). Young males are the most commonly affected.

Hypertensive LES – A disorder of the esophagus where the pressures in the lower esophageal sphincter are more than 45mm Hg as measured on esophageal manometry. Patients often complain of difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).

Non-acid reflux – Reflux of gastric contents other than acid into the esophagus. This can include bile, stomach enzymes, and medications. Symptoms include throat burning, chest pain, heartburn and regurgitation.

Nutcracker Esophagus – A disorder with strong esophageal contractions that do not propel food. It may be related to uncontrolled reflux disease. Patients complain of difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and/or chest pain.

Scleroderma Esophagus – A disorder of the esophagus with scleroderma changes to the esophagus that can cause severe reflux and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).

 

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