Patients experiencing symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) such as heartburn or chest pain may be referred by their gastroenterologist for a non-invasive procedural test known as ambulatory pH monitoring. This may be performed either with traditional 24 hour testing, in which a catheter is placed from the nose into the esophagus and left there for 24 hours, or with the newer implantable BRAVO system. These tests both measure acid or pH levels in the esophagus and this helps to determine whether acid reflux is present and correlates to your symptoms.
Ambulatory pH monitoring with the BRAVO system is an outpatient diagnostic test. The BRAVO capsule is positioned on the wall of the esophagus where it transmits 24-48 hours of data to a small receiver worn by the patient or placed within 3 feet of the patient at all times. The patient returns to the hospital in approximately 48 hours to turn in their receiver which is then uploaded into a computer for analysis. The BRAVO capsule naturally falls off the wall of the esophagus within several days and passes through your digestive tract and is eliminated from the body.
Patients are able to maintain their regular diet and activities without the discomfort or embarrassment associated with traditional ph catheter systems. The data collected allows your physician to monitor and/or treat your symptoms with increased accuracy. For more information regarding BRAVO or any other gastrointestinal procedure, please contact your PCP for referral or contact our appointment scheduling in our Somersworth, Portsmouth or Hampton office to arrange a consult with one of our physicians.