Information about BRAVO 48 hour pH testing
Why do I need the test?
The purpose of the test is to monitor the frequency and duration of gastro oesophageal reflux (stomach acid coming up) during a normal day. It will help to find out if your symptoms are caused by Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD).
What to expect before the test
You should stop taking any proton pump inhibitor (i.e. Losec, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, Lanzoprazole, etc) or H2RA (Zantac, Ranitidine, Cemetidine, etc.) for at least 7-10 days before the procedure. You can continue antacids such as Gaviscon and Mylanta. Full instructions will be sent with your appointment letter since this can vary according to which drugs you are taking. You should continue taking your medications for other conditions e.g. diabetes, epilepsy and hypertension. Do not eat or drink anything at least six hours before the test.
What to expect on arrival
The nurse will explain the procedure to you, to ensure you understand the test and its implication. The nurse will ask you a series of questions about your symptoms and the medication you have taken for them. This will help with the interpretation of the results. Please bring a list of medication with you.
What to expect during the test
A tiny sensor is temporarily attached to the wall of the oesophagus during a gastroscopy procedure (see the gastroscopy information page). The sensor measures the acid levels of any reflux coming up from the stomach.
The capsule transmits data using radio signals to a small receiver not much bigger than a mobile phone that is worn around the waist.
You will be asked to complete a diary of your symptoms and meals/drinks during the period of your test. This will be explained to you in detail on the day of your procedure.
After 48 hours the receiver will stop recording and the pH data stored in the receiver is downloaded onto a computer. Between 5-12 days after the study the capsule naturally falls off the oesophagus and passes through the digestive tract.
Will I be able to feel the capsule?
Some patients say they have a vague sensation that something is in the oesophagus. Some patients have reported a degree of oesophageal discomfort or a slight “tugging” sensation when swallowing. Should you experience this, chewing carefully and drinking fluids may minimize this sensation.
Will I be able to eat and drink?
Yes, it is important that you eat and drink as you normally would.
Will I be able to work?
The main advantage of this new catheter-free system is that you are able to continue with your normal activities, whether at work, rest or play. It is important that you continue with your normal routine since this will more accurately reflect your condition.
Will I be able to bathe or shower?
Yes, but the receiver should not get wet so please ensure that the receiver is removed during showering, bathing or swimming and placed in a safe, dry area.
What about night-time?
The night time recording is a very important part of the test so please ensure that the receiver stays in close contact to you.
Will I be able to take my medicine for indigestion during the test?
No, all indigestion medications have the effect of reducing or masking the amount of acid present and therefore will give an inaccurate result so please stop taking them during the test.
Will I be aware that the capsule has detached and passed through my system?
No, most patient are unaware of the presence of the capsule and you should not feel it passing through the digestive tract.
Is the test suitable for all patients?
The test is not suitable for everyone. If you have bleeding, strictures, severe oesophagitis, varices, obstructions, a pacemaker, or an implantable cardiac defibrillator, you should not undergo Bravo pH test. Additionally, because the capsule contains a small magnet, you should not have an MRI scan within 30 days of undergoing the Bravo pH test.
Are there any risks or side effects?
Although complications can occur they are rare and will be discussed with you prior to the procedure taking place.
Who can I contact if I have any questions?
You will be able to ask questions before your procedure when you are discussing the benefits and risks with the doctor and before you sign the consent form.
If you have any problems understanding or reading any of this information, please contact the Endoscopy Unit staff: (04) 570 9191.