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Phone 5436 0888 to make an appointment

Gastroesophageal Reflux Testing

This is a bulk billable service.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) occurs when stomach acid leaks from the stomach and moves up into the oesophagus. GORD can eventually lead to more serious health problems and impact wellbeing and quality of life.

The gastroesophageal reflux test accurately detects the presence and determines the extent and severity of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

This non-invasive nuclear medicine imaging technique is the first test for reflux that is not just limited to the oesophagus and stomach, precisely identifying contamination of reflux fluid throughout the maxillary sinuses, throat, middle ears, laryngopharynx, airways and lungs.

Contamination of reflux throughout the head and neck can be the cause of ear and sinusitis infections, sore throat and difficulty swallowing. Reflux can also irritate the airways and be aspirated into the lungs causing chronic cough, recurring chest infections, bronchitis or pneumonia.

The test also plays an integral role in predicting the outcome of laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery and minimising the risk of unsuccessful surgery.

Test Process

Before the gastroesophageal reflux test

You are required to fast for 4 hours prior to your examination. Please do not have anything to eat, drink, smoke or chew during the fasting period. All medications (including prescribed reflux medication) must be taken on the day of your examination prior to commencing the 4 hour fasting period. Gaviscon must NOT be taken on the day of your appointment.

During the gastroesophageal reflux test

The test is performed in two stages.

Stage One
The nuclear medicine technologist will give you approximately 150mL of water to drink. A small amount of a radioactive tracer is placed into the water to enable us to see the transit of the water with our imaging equipment. You will lay on the scanner bed and 35 minutes of imaging will commence after consuming the water.

Stage Two
Following a 90-minute break, a further 25 minutes of imaging will be performed.

Following the gastroesophageal reflux test

You are free to leave the department. Your results will be sent to your referring health professional.

Gastroesophageal reflux testing is available at the following X-Ray & Imaging locations:

• Caloundra

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has my doctor referred me for a gastroesophageal reflux test?

Your GP or specialist may refer you for this test if you are suffering from:
• heartburn
• chronic cough
• chest pain
• throat clearing
• difficulty swallowing
• recurrent chest, throat and/or ear infections
• sinusitis
• pneumonia
• bronchitis
• new or worsening asthma
• disrupted sleep
• tooth decay or gum disease

What is the duration of the gastroesophageal reflux test?

Please allow up to three hours. You are free to leave the department for the 90-minute break between stage one and stage two.

What is the cost of gastroesophageal reflux testing?

This test is bulk billed.

Can I undergo a gastroesophageal reflux test if I am pregnant?

Yes, but in most cases, we do not perform nuclear medicine procedures on pregnant women, unless a medical benefit outweighs any potential risks.

What should I bring to my gastroesophageal reflux test appointment?

• Your original referral or request form
• Medicare and any Government concession pension or health care cards
• Previous relevant imaging

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