Bravo pH monitoring is a patient-friendly test for identifying the cause of heartburn. This test allows your doctor to evaluate your heartburn symptoms to determine the frequency and duration of acid coming up into your esophagus and to confirm if your condition may be GERD. The test involves a miniature pH capsule, approximately the size of a gel cap, that is attached to your esophagus. Though-out the test period, the Bravo pH capsule measures the pH in the esophagus and transmits this information to a small receiver worn on your belt or waistband just like a pager or mobile phone.
Do you have frequent indigestion or a burning sensation in the center of your chest? Do you regularly get sour or bitter-tasting fluids in your throat or mouth? Do you avoid lying flat or bending over to prevent acid form backing up into your throat?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might have chronic heartburn or GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) the heartburn may be so severe that it interferes with your daily routine.
Frequent or chronic heartburn may be associated with a more serious problem known as GERD. Damage caused by GERD can lead to more serious medical problems such as difficulty swallowing, narrowing of the esophagus, or Barrett’s esophagus.
The capsule takes only moments to place in the esophagus. Then the test period lasts 48 hours or more, depending on what your doctor requests. The test is catheter-free; no tube or wire remains in your nose or mouth after placement of the capsule. The capsule is so small you may eat normally and go about your daily routine. Some patients say they have a vague sensation that “something” is in their esophagus. Some patients say they feel the capsule when they eat or when food passed the capsule. Should you experience this, chewing food carefully and drinking liquids may minimize this sensation.
You will be given a diary to write down the times when you have reflux symptoms when eating or when lying down.
After the test is completed, you return the diary and the Bravo Receiver to your doctor. The test data is the uploaded to a computer, and analyzed by your doctor to diagnose your condition.