What To Expect If Your Baby Has An Endoscopy and PH Study

We are now, I am thankful to say on the other side of our tests: an Endoscopy and a PH study. Despite a small cold, the anaesthetist (much to our relief) felt it was safe to proceed. For those of you embarking on a similar journey, this is what we have learnt in the process.

Deciding Whether To Have The Tests

  • NICE guidelines for infant Reflux indicate that a specialist referral for an upper GI Endoscopy should happen if a child has a feeding aversion and a history of regurgitation, or unexplained iron deficient anaemia. As Number a Two is affected by both he was an obvious candidate.
  • Your baby will need to come off all medications in advance of the procedure. We were on Losec Mups prior to this, and had to come off five days in advance.
  • For us being off the medication was the hardest part of the process. Number Two stopped drinking which meant we ended up in hospital with him as he was dehydrated.

If Your Child Is Poorly

  • An anaesthetic won’t be given for an elective procedure (an elective is any non-life threatening emergency) if a child has a high temperature. So if your child is ill in the days leading up to the procedure, it’s well worth ringing the hospital. They can advise you if they think the procedure will go ahead in advance.
  • It is unlikely that the procedure will be cancelled if your child just has a small cold.

Things That Would Be Useful In Hospital

  • We would have found a toddler backpack really useful (the kind that come with reins attached would have been perfect). Number Two was two small to wear his monitor as a belt, and it was quite tricky for him to move around freely with the wire. A backpack would have led to a mush less stressful day for all of us.
  • During the process we had to record Number Two’s daily events (eating, drinking, sleeping etc.) onto a sheet along with how P.H.. Overnight I used the notes devotion of my phone. Because I co-sleep with Number Two it made the juggle that little bit easier. Managing a little boy, a pen, paper, monitor and light on my own was just too many things to deal with.
  • Some settings allow you to go home to complete the PH study. Some ask you to stay in. As we were staying in hospital we went prepared with some of Number Two’s favourite dissolvable snacks. We know how tricky getting him to eat can be and we wanted to ensure the data was as representative as possible.

Eating And Drinking

  • Children can eat and drink milk until six hours hours before the procedure, have breast milk until four hours before and have water until two hours before.
  • Your Child will be allowed to have a drink as long as they feel ok, about half an hour after waking up.

Once In Hospital

  • The procedure itself will be done under general anaesthetic and will last around 20 minutes. We were allowed to stay with our little man until he was asleep, and met him in the recovery room as soon as he woke up.
  • We were immediately told the visual results from the Endoscopy, but will have to wait two weeks for the biopsy results and the results of the PH study.
  • Although there is a wireless option for PH studies, it isn’t currently suitable for babies and young children, so your baby will arrive out of theatre with a wire attached to a PH monitoring device coming out of their nose.

  • The study lasts for 24 hours, it’s really helpful to have two adults around to navigate the wires and the form.

In all, despite how worried we were beforehand I was pleasantly surprised by how straightforward the procedure was. Hopefully once we get the results we will be able to begin to formulate a plan in the battle against the reflux.



  1. Reply


    April 6, 2017

    Hi ya,

    My little one suffers terribly from reflux. He is on a hugely restricted diet but it hasn’t helped and now every time we add anything back he gets even worse. We did the endoscopy with our elder who suffered the same but decided against it as we weren’t convinced it would change treatment. However I haven’t heard of the pH thing – what does that tell you and is it likely to change treatment at all? My son is also anaemic but as he can’t tolerate meat we aren’t sure if diet related and he couldn’t tolerate the iron ?

    Best wishes on your journey xx

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      April 7, 2017

      Hi Lucy, I’m so sorry to hear your little one is also struggling. The PH study consisted of tiny sensors on probes being suspended above his stomach attached to a wire through his nose. This was connected to a PH monitor, which monitored the amount and timings of his reflux over a 24 hour period, to help his doctors to develop a treatment plan. I hope you find answers soon x

  2. Reply


    April 30, 2017

    When Joseph went through all this I was too tired and emotional to write about anything. Even when he was diagnosed with autism I couldn’t write about it until much later and it’s been my biggest regret. I used to joke that i could write a book om reflux. There was nothing around to help me at the time (2008-2009) and everyone’s journey seemed so different to ours. Yours seems very similar and I think it would have been so useful to me. We came out of the other side (eventually!!) and then started something else! The joys of parenting eh? X

    • Reply

      Mummy Times Two

      May 6, 2017

      You are very right, we solve one battle only to begin the next x