We are now offering a new GERD diagnostic technique called the BRAVO capsule. This new monitoring system can objectively assess and compare your reflux symptoms with the real-time pH level in your esophagus to more accurately diagnose and treat GERD. This pH testing provides insight on the degree of acidity as well as the frequency of reflux. Prior pH monitoring tests involved uncomfortable catheters, but Bravo pH is an easy 48-hour test that wirelessly sends information to a small receiver worn on your waistband that can be taken off for showers and sleep. During the test period, you can eat normally and engage in regular activity. This flexibility allows for a more accurate view how your daily activity and diet affect your GERD. The capsule is quickly and painlessly inserted onto the wall of the esophagus, and afterward, you can proceed with normal activities throughout the rest of the day. The capsule will stick to the esophagus wall during the testing period and eventually fall off and pass naturally within about 96 hours.
This test is beneficial because it can definitively diagnose, or rule out GERD, providing a more expedited process in finding and treating the true issue. Although an upper endoscopy can see the effect chronic GERD has on your esophagus, the BRAVO capsule can reveal acid reflux before permanent damage has been done. The information transmitted during the testing period can also display the effects of specific triggers such as eating certain foods or body position like standing up or lying down. The BRAVO capsule may be the final puzzle piece to diagnosing and treating your symptoms.
Author Kelsey Zuckerman Patient Care Coordinator