A Bravo pH study measures the amount of acid that backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.
This procedure is usually performed as an outpatient and is conducted using the Bravo receiver. This is a unit you'll use at home or in your daily routine for 48 hours.
You'll need to fast for at least four hours before the procedure. Once in the procedure room, you'll be asked to lie on your left side, and intravenous sedation will be administered. The upper endoscopy procedure will last approximately five minutes.
Your gastroenterologist will attach a small capsule about the size of a gel cap to the wall of your esophagus. Very small biopsies may be taken; these are not painful.
Your specialist will attach the Bravo capsule to the lower esophagus. It will remain here for about five to seven days. It then will fall off and pass through your digestive track. You don't need to retrieve the capsule.
The capsule measures pH levels in the esophagus and transmits readings to a receiver worn on your belt or waistband. The receiver has several buttons that you'll press to record symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) such as heartburn.
The nurse will give you specific instructions on the care and operation of the Bravo receiver. You'll be instructed to maintain a 48-hour diary where you'll list:
- Your intake of food and drink.
- What times you lie down.
You'll be instructed where and when to return the diary and the receiver at the completion of the 48 hours. At the end of the 48 hours, the receiver will stop accepting information and the screen will go blank.