Insertion of paediatric pH monitor, illustration

Insertion of paediatric pH monitor, illustration

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Credit: TIM VERNON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Insertion of paediatric pH monitor, illustration. A guide wire, with the pH monitor on the end, is inserted through the mouth and into the oesophagus (food pipe). When in place, a vacuum unit in the monitor pins it to the oesophageal wall. From here it measures the pH in the surrounding oesophagus, transmitting data to a receiver worn on the patient's belt. This procedure is used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD, also known as acid reflux, is an advanced form of heartburn. It occurs when the sphincter separating the stomach and the oesophagus does not close properly and stomach acid leaks back into the oesophagus. Frequent reflux of acid up the oesophagus can lead to damage (GERD) and oesophagitis, inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus.

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