Get a BRAVO esophageal pH test to determine if

  • You have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Your surgical treatment for GERD is successful
  • Your GERD medication is effective

Your gastrointestinal physician will perform an upper endoscopy and attach a small capsule to the wall of your esophagus. This capsule will measure the acid level in your esophagus and transmit this data to a small receiver attached to the waistband of your pants. You will be asked to record any symptoms of GERD you feel for 24-48 hours.

The purpose

The Bravo pH capsule allows your doctor to determine the best treatment for your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms without using a catheter. Best of all, throughout the 24-48-hour test, you are allowed to do all the things you normally do.

Prepare for the procedure

No hospital stay is required for this procedure. The capsule doesn’t take long to place and during the 24-48-hour period of testing, you’re able to go about your day as you normally would.

Some medications affect pH levels in your stomach. Your doctor will instruct you on which medications you can continue and which you should stop using before your esophageal pH monitoring test.

The esophageal pH monitoring test is not suitable for you if you have

  • A pacemaker
  • An implantable cardiac defibrillator
  • Varices
  • Strictures
  • Obstructions
  • Esophagitis
  • Bleeding diathesis

What to expect

You will lie down on your back and your doctor will insert the pH capsule into your esophagus. This device is about the size of a gel capsule.

As soon as the capsule is attached to your esophagus, it begins to measure your pH levels. These measurements are then transmitted to a small receiver, about the size of a pager, attached to your belt or waistband.

Throughout the test period, when you experience chest pain, heartburn, or regurgitation, you will press a corresponding button on your receiver. In a diary, you will be asked to record eating and sleeping periods.

After the procedure

Once your testing period is over, you will need to meet with your doctor to return the receiver and diary. This information will be analyzed to better diagnose your condition and determine the best treatment for your symptoms.

The capsule is disposable and, a few days after the test, it will dislodge from your esophagus and pass through your stomach. The capsule will only affect a small portion of your esophagus.

Do not undergo an MRI within 30 days of having this test due to the small magnet in the capsule.