What is Bravo pH Monitoring?

The Bravo™ pH Monitoring System is a catheter-free way to measure pH. The Bravo system involves a pH capsule, about the size of a gel cap, that is temporarily attached to the wall of the esophagus. The Bravo™ pH 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 Bravo pH 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 5-7 days on average.

Why is Bravo pH Monitoring Performed?

Bravo pH Monitoring is often performed if your doctor suspects that you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Those with this common condition often experience heartburn, coughing, and a sore throat, and as this test identifies acidity, it is ideal for determining if stomach contents are refluxing into the lower esophagus. Most patients with some form of acid reflux will not need this test, but it is useful for those with ongoing symptoms despite continued treatment or those with abnormal symptoms that are indicative of acid reflux. Too much reflux can damage the esophagus, so if you suspect you may have acid reflux, contact an NJ gastroenterologist at DHC to determine if this procedure is right for you. 

How Should I Prepare for Bravo pH Monitoring in NJ?

Your doctor will give you specific instructions regarding how to prepare for your Bravo pH Monitoring appointment, and what to do after you leave the office. Preparation usually requires stopping certain medications for several days before the procedure, as well as not eating or drinking for several hours before your appointment.

Procedure Prep Instructions

What Can I Expect During Bravo pH Monitoring?

Bravo pH Monitoring begins during a standard upper endoscopy (EGD). During the test, a small capsule around the size of a pencil eraser will be attached to the lining of your esophagus. As you will receive some form of anesthesia, you will not experience pain when the capsule is attached. As soon as the capsule is in place, it begins sending measurements of the acidity of your esophagus to a small receiver that you will wear on your waist.

Once you leave DHC after your appointment, there are steps you will need to follow to make sure the test is able to monitor accurately. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for the days following your procedure, but in general, you should follow your routine so the test can be as accurate as possible. Eat at least two meals a day at your normal eating times, and continue to follow your doctor’s advice regarding medications. You should remain upright throughout the day and only lie down if you are going to bed (or if napping is a part of your daily routine). One of the most important parts of the process is to record any symptoms you experience during the monitoring period by pressing buttons on your receiver. You should also record the times you start and stop eating and drinking and any time you spend lying down. When the monitoring period is over, you will return the monitor to DHC. The capsule will detach and pass harmlessly through the digestive tract in seven to ten days. 

What are the Possible Complications of Bravo pH Monitoring?

Bravo pH Monitoring in NJ is generally a very safe process with a low risk of complications. In rare cases, chest pain from the capsule can occur, which will lead to it being removed. Some patients experience a sore throat for a day or two after the endoscopy. Please keep in mind that you cannot have an MRI for 30 days after the procedure. If you have any concerns during your monitoring period or afterward, please contact our office.

Those seeking Bravo pH Monitoring to measure the frequency of acid reflux and get on track to more comfortable living have access to this testing system at our Hillsborough office and surgical center. Please contact us today to schedule your appointment

Bravo pH Monitoring at Digestive Healthcare Center

At DHC, our team of physicians wants you to be able to live your happiest and most comfortable life, free of digestive symptoms that cause discomfort or pain. Bravo pH Monitoring is ideal for cases where reflux is difficult to diagnose – this monitoring method helps our physicians determine a specific diagnosis and create a care plan tailored to you. We are proud to help patients identify the cause of their symptoms and help them find relief at our three office locations in New Jersey.