Bravo Capsule Esophageal pH Test Denver

Purpose: The Bravo Capsule Esophageal pH Test measures and records the level of acidity (pH) in your esophagus to determine the degree to which you have acid reflux over a 48 hour period. The Bravo device consists of a capsule about the size of a vitamin pill that attaches to your esophagus by suction and transmits information wirelessly to a pocket-sized receiver that you carry with you. There are no tubes coming out of your mouth or nose during the test.

Description: If the Bravo is placed in the office, your throat will be sprayed with numbing medicine and then a catheter with the capsule attached will be passed through your mouth and into your esophagus as you swallow. The capsule will then be attached to the inside of your esophagus using suction and the introducing catheter will then be removed. If the Bravo is placed during a sedated endoscopy, the same process is carried out while you are sedated. The receiver is returned to our office immediately after the test. The capsule will dislodge generally 3-7 days after placement and passes out with the stool.

Risks: Uncommonly, patients will experience chest pain or discomfort due to the presence of the Bravo capsule in the esophagus. Rarely, the capsule will not fall off spontaneously, or food may hang up on the Bravo capsule, and endoscopy may be required. The manufacturer advises that an MRI not be obtained if the Bravo capsule could still be in the body. A month later, or sooner if needed, an X-ray should be performed to ensure the Bravo has passed. The Bravo capsule will sometimes dislodge prematurely, or not function properly, and will need to be repeated.

Alternatives: 24-hour Esophageal Impedance/Esophageal Manometry is an alternative, catheter-based system that provides greater accuracy, in general.

Preparation: The most accurate results of the Bravo Capsule Esophageal pH Test are obtained if you have been off of your reflux medication (Prilosec, Prevacid, Dexilant, etc) for 7 days. You may take Pepcid, Zantac (ranitidine), or Tagamet at twice the over-the-counter dose until 2 days before the test. You may take Tums, Mylanta, and Gaviscon up until 6 hours before the procedure. During the test, please do not take any antacid medications (48 hours, or until the receiver turns off).

After the Test: You will return the receiver to us 48 hours after the study began and the Bravo capsule will fall off and pass out of the GI tract on its own in a few days. Most patients find the test causes very little discomfort and can go about their normal activities during the test.