Bravo pH Testing
What is Bravo pH testing?
What is the preparation for Bravo pH testing?
An empty stomach allows for the best and safest examination. Your doctor will tell you when you should start fasting based on the date/time; usually midnight the day of your upper endoscopy. Tell your doctor in advance about any medications you take including; aspirin products or antiplatelet agents, arthritis medications, anticoagulants (blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin), clopidogrel, insulin or iron products. Discuss any allergies to medications as well as medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease.
Your doctor may order a Bravo test to determine the amount of acid reflux that is actually occurring in your esophagus and how it correlates with your symptoms. A small sensor, about the size of the end of a pencil, is placed in your esophagus during an upper endoscopy. The sensor stays for 48 hours then falls off. While the sensor is in place you will wear a small monitor with a button to press when you feel symptoms.
What happens during an upper endoscopy?
The doctor will have you lie on your side and the anesthesiologist/CRNA will give you gentle sedation. The doctor will then pass the endoscope through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The endoscope doesn't interfere with your breathing. The doctor will attach the sensor to the inside of your esophagus. The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes.
You will be monitored until most of the effects of the medication have worn off. Your throat might be a little sore, and you might feel bloated because of the air introduced into your stomach during the test. You will be able to eat after you leave unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Your physician will explain the results of the examination to you, although you'll probably have to wait for the results of any biopsies performed. A driver will be needed to drive you home. Even if you feel alert after the procedure, your judgment and reflexes could be impaired for the rest of the day.
What are possible complications of a Bravo pH test?
Our doctors are board-certified gastroenterologists who are specially trained and have performed thousands of upper endoscopies. Although complications can occur, they are extremely rare. Bleeding can occur where the sensor is placed, but it's usually minimal and rarely requires follow-up. Perforation (a hole or tear in the gastrointestinal tract lining) may require surgery but this is a very uncommon complication. Some patients might have a reaction to the sedatives or complications from heart or lung disease.
Although complications after upper endoscopy and Bravo placement are very uncommon, it's important to recognize early signs of possible complications. Contact your doctor immediately if you have a fever after the test or if you notice trouble swallowing or increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain, or bleeding, including black stools. Note that bleeding can occur several days after the procedure.
If you have any concerns about a possible complication, it is always best to contact your doctor right away.