The Heartburn Treatment Center at Singing River Health System is dedicated to providing the only the highest quality of care and treatment to our patients by staying on the cutting edge of today’s most up-to-date technology. our mission is to see that you receive the best care available and to provide you with the most current information for living a heartburn free life.
Upper GI Endoscopy
This test allows direct visualization of the lining of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine by the use of an endoscope passed through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Direct visualization of the esophageal lining will allow a check for potential damage (esophagitis, ulcers, Barrett’s Esophagus or cancer).
The PillCam™ SB is a noninvasive diagnostic alternative to traditional endoscopy. The procedure takes about 20-minutes in the office. It requires no sedation, and recovery is immediate. The PillCam™ SB is a smooth plastic capsule about the size of a large vitamin pill that will communicate with a PillCam™ sensor belt that will be worn across the abdomen. A patient swallows the pill with water. The pill then glides down the esophageal tract taking pictures, which are transmitted to the recording device worn by the patient. The patient will leave wearing the recording device and return 8-12 hours later to return the equipment. The doctor will then download the images from the recorder to review and make a definitive diagnosis of GERD, erosive esophagitis or Barrett’s Esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition. The disposable capsule is passed naturally, usually within 24 hours.
This test involves a small diameter tube passed through the nose into the esophagus. The nose and throat of the patient are numbed prior to this procedure. Once the tube is in position, the patient is asked to swallow. Measurements of esophageal function are made by the use of pressure readings of the muscle contractions (motility) of the esophagus. LES muscle pressure is also taken. This test will help your doctor interpret whether there is a problem with motility of the esophagus or the function of the LES. The test by itself does not confirm the diagnosis of GERD but will assist your doctor in knowing if esophageal motility problems are contributing to the GERD symptoms.
Ambulatory 24-hour pH Probe
This test consists of a small tube passed through the nose into the esophagus at the level of the LES. ApH sensor at the tip of the tube allows measurements of acid exposure in the esophagus to be collected on a portable computer. The pH probe is worn for 24 continuous hours. The tube is then removed and the results from the computer are interpreted. These results are compared to what we know is the normal acid exposure in the esophagus. This is truly the “gold standard” for determining reflux disease. Generally, a pH probe is ordered if your doctor is not sure if symptoms are related to GERD or if your GERD has not responded to medical therapy.