How can I get a Cytosponge test?

The Cytosponge is already available in many hospitals throughout England and Scotland.

Ask your GP if you are worried about your heartburn or reflux symptoms.

If you would like to know when the Cytosponge is available in your area, get in touch

How long does it take?

The test takes around 10 minutes in total. You can expect to be with the nurse for around 30 minutes before you can go home.

How big is the Cytosponge?

Before swallowing the Cytosponge, it is about the same size as a paracetamol capsule. Once swallowed, the capsule dissolves inside your stomach and a small, soft sponge expands.

Does it hurt?

The Cytosponge is a relatively painless experience, and a numbing spray is available for your throat if you would like to have it.

What happens if the thread breaks?

This is extremely unlikely. However, if it does happen, the sponge is harmless and will be removed by a same day endoscopy.

What are the side effects of the Cytosponge?

During the procedure, some people can experience discomfort by the thread at the back of their throat and retrieving the Cytosponge can be uncomfortable, but very brief. You might have a sore throat for a few hours after the procedure, which can be soothed like a usual sore throat.

How should I prepare for the test?

We will ask you to not eat or drink for 4 hours before the test. If you take any medication that acts to thin your blood, we will ask you to temporarily stop this prior to the procedure, based on advice from your doctor. After the test, you will be able to continue with your day as normal.