The Bravo™ pH Monitoring System may be ordered to help patients with severe reflux disease. The test is a catheter-free way to measure pH.
The Bravo system involves a pH capsule, about the size of a gel cap, which is temporarily attached to the wall of the esophagus. The capsule measures pH levels in the esophagus and transmits readings via radio telemetry to the Bravo™ Receiver worn on the patient’s belt or waistband. The patient also records symptoms he or she experiences in a diary by pressing buttons on the receiver.
The capsule collects pH measurements for up to 48 hours. After the study, data from the receiver is uploaded to a computer and diary information is entered for analysis to aid in the diagnosis and plan treatment. Normal patient activities such as swallowing, eating and drinking should cause the disposable pH capsule to detach and pass through the digestive tract in 5 to 7 days on average.
How is the Bravo pH capsule attached to the esophagus?
The doctor uses the Bravo™ Delivery System to insert the pH capsule through the mouth or nose and position it above the lower esophageal sphincter. Once the pH capsule is in place, suction is applied, drawing a small amount of esophageal tissue into the capsule and locking it in place. The delivery system is then withdrawn and the pH capsule can begin measuring pH levels.
Why Test for Heartburn?
Do you have a great deal of 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 need help sitting up when you’re lying down, or avoid bending over to prevent acid from backing up into your throat?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you might have chronic heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The quick and easy Bravo diagnostic will tell your doctor what is causing your symptoms and what is the best treatment option.