ph probe for 7-year-old

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 9/19/2008 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
First time posting in the heartburn section.  My 7 1/2 year old son is going to have an endoscopy and a ph probe next week.  I have experienced an endoscopy myself and know there is not much to it, but the ph probe (24 hours) sounds like it might be much harder to deal with. 
I would be grateful for any advice because right now I have no idea what to expect.  I guess I am most concerned about how much discomfort to expect.  I know that what an adult experiences might differ from a child's experience but all information is very welcome.
Thanks in advance.
UC diagnosed 10/05, first symptoms 1983
asacol 12/daily and rowasa as needed 
Trying out Digestive Fitness Probiotic
past rx: colozal, lialda, canasa

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/19/2008 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Madabs

Welcome to HealingWell. I am glad you found this forum.

A pH probe:

A thin plastic tube (catheter) is placed into a nostril, guided down the throat and then into the esophagus.

The tube stops just above the lower esophageal sphincter, which is at the connection between the esophagus and the stomach.

At the end of the tube inside the esophagus is a sensor that measures pH.

The other end of the tube outside the body is connected to a monitor that records the pH levels for 24 hours. Normal activity is encouraged during the study, and a diary is kept of symptoms experienced or activity that might be suspicious for reflux, such as gagging or coughing.

The pH readings are evaluated and compared to the child's activity for that time period. There is some discomfort from what I know but perhaps a member that has been through the procedure will have a answer for you.

Again, Welcome




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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 9/20/2008 12:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Does your Gastro do the Bravo proceedure? It will give the same information and can be done at the time of the endo. They attach it to the esophagous and then you wear a pager type thing for 24 to 48 hours. It eventually just drops off and goes thru the intestines. Maybe they don't do it on children but I know my Doctor doesn't use the probe anymore and as long as you son needs an endo it would be more comfortable.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/21/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I am 37 and had a PH probe done last month. The Dr. injects a numbing agent into the nostrils so that when the probe is inserted, it is less uncomfortable. The probe wire was taped to my cheek to protect it from being ripped out during normal activity or sleep. The recorder was in a case that I carried with me for the 20 hours. More than anything, I always felt like I needed to clear my throat and swallow. It did not hurt and it became more tolerable as my body got used to the sensation of the wire being inside it. I was very happy for it ti be removed and return to normal comfort levels. I think he will be just fine. Children are so much more resilient than we are.

Best of luck.


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 9/22/2008 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everyone for the advice and information. 

 My son is getting the probe that goes through his nose and needs to be removed manually.  Fortunately, he will be asleep for the endoscopy when they place the probe.  I have done a little research since I last posted and I  guess it shouldn't be too bad for him.  I don't know if doc will be doing any biopsies yet, so maybe that will be the worse part - having a sore throat later that day.  Just like all moms, I  hate the idea of anything unpleasant happening to my child so I probably overworry about the effect of these tests.  Also doctor mentioned surgery about five minutes after talking to me which kind of set my nerves on edge as well. 

Also, for anyone who might run across this thread looking for info for their own child, I found a site that allows users to download a storybook for young kids that explains what happens to them when they have a ph probe and an endoscopy.  My son really like reading it!  (I hope this link is allowed)  The link is


Thanks again.

UC diagnosed 10/05, first symptoms 1983
asacol 12/daily and rowasa as needed 
Trying out Digestive Fitness Probiotic
past rx: colozal, lialda, canasa

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