Reflux and The Electrogastrogram
Another important test that’s becoming more and more important as we learn more and more about reflux, is known as the electrogastrogram, or what we call the EGG for short. In this test, three electrodes will be placed on your abdomen on the left, mid, and right portions of your upper abdomen, and you’ll be asked to sit still for approximately 10 minutes. After this 10 minute baseline period, you’ll be asked for five minutes, to drink water until you feel you are completely full. Then for the next 30 minutes, the equipment will monitor the contraction of your stomach. What we’re looking for specifically here are disorders in the contraction or the motility of your stomach.
We can call these different motility disorders either slow stomach emptying, or slow stomach contraction, known as bradygastria, fast stomach contraction known as tachygastria, a mixture of the two, which we’ll called mixed-type. The most important condition that we’re really concerned about is called functional outlet obstruction. In this condition, even though your stomach contracts normally, it cannot contract well enough. Instead the stomach contracts against a closed pyloric sphincter. This causes your gastric contents to back up, making your reflux worse. When we consider correcting reflux, we want to make sure that the people who have the reflux do not have this obstructive change because it needs to be fixed first, so as to not get worse once the reflux is fixed.