Ph-Bravo Testing

What is pH Bravo Testing?

pH Bravo testing is a diagnostic procedure used to measure acid levels in the esophagus over a prolonged period. It involves placing a small pH monitoring device (Bravo capsule) in the esophagus to assess acid reflux patterns.

The sensor probe in the capsule measures and records acid levels (pH) at that location over time, and the transmitter sends the information to a recording device you wear on a belt. Doctor Patel downloads this data and uses it to assess the severity of the reflux.

Why would I need this?

pH Bravo testing helps diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), symptoms such as heartburn or regurgitation (food coming back up into the esophagus) that are not relieved by medication, and evaluating the effectiveness of treatment. It provides valuable information about acid exposure in the esophagus over time.

What happens during the pH Bravo Testing?

During pH Bravo testing, Doctor Patel will attach the Bravo capsule to the lining of your esophagus during an upper endoscopy (EGD). The capsule transmits pH data wirelessly to a recorder worn on your belt for 48 to 96 hours.

  • Once you are asleep from the anesthesia, Dr. Patel passes the endoscope through the mouth and into the esophagus.
  • The catheter with a wireless capsule is passed through the mouth and attached to the lining of the esophagus with a clip, then the catheter is removed. You will NOT feel the capsule in your esophagus and once it falls off on its own in 96 hours (it will pass through your intestines on its own).

What should I prepare for the procedure?

Before pH Bravo testing, you may need to avoid certain medications and follow fasting instructions. Your doctor will provide specific guidelines to ensure accurate results.

You might need to temporarily stop using medications that suppress stomach acid for a week (7 days) before the test (PPIs or H2 blockers like pantoprazole or pepcid). Or, Doctor Patel may ask you to stay on your regular medications so the test can show how well they are working.

What happens after the procedure?

After the monitoring period, you will return the recorder to the surgery center to analyze the data. You can resume your normal activities during the monitoring period. Dr. Patel will discuss the findings and recommend appropriate treatment options.


Kumkum Patel MD, MPH

Board-certified Gastroenterologist.
IBS and Motility Specialist

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