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BRAVO (Acid Reflux)

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Learn more about BRAVO at King Edward VII’s Hospital

Why would I need the BRAVO pH test?

Patients who suffer with any of the following can benefit from having the BRAVO pH test:

  • Acid reflux, heartburn or indigestion
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the chest that isn’t related to the heart

What symptoms does the BRAVO pH test address?

The BRAVO pH test doesn’t help to treat any symptoms. Instead, it’s a diagnostic procedure that aims to give doctors a better idea of what’s causing your symptoms.

When should you speak to your specialist about the BRAVO pH test?

If you have any of the above symptoms, speak to your specialist about getting tested to find the cause of your discomfort. They may perform a BRAVO pH test.

How is the BRAVO pH test performed?

The BRAVO pH test is performed during an endoscopy, when a medical practitioner called an endoscopist passes a long, thin tube called an endoscope through your mouth and down into your oesophagus. You may or may not be sedated during this procedure, which will take around 20 minutes, and you’ll be able to return home the same day.

During the procedure, you’ll be asked to lay on your left hand side whilst your endoscopist passes the endoscope gently down your throat. The endoscope has a camera on the end that will allow your doctor to get a clear view of your oesophagus on a nearby screen. You may be given some throat spray to ease any discomfort but it shouldn’t be painful.

They will then attach a small capsule to the lining of the oesophagus. This will remain in place for between 24 and 96 hours and will measure the amount of acid being produced.

What is the recovery like for the BRAVO pH test?

Your recovery from the BRAVO pH test will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and the nature of your procedure.

Once the capsule is in place, you will be given a monitor that you must carry around with you for the duration of the test. It will be small enough to strap to your belt. The capsule shouldn’t generate any symptoms whilst in place.

The capsule will continuously record the pH level of your oesophagus and the monitor will collate the information. You will also be given a diary sheet and asked to record everything that you eat and drink and any symptoms that you experience.

If you’ve had a sedation, you will feel sleepy for an hour or so after the procedure. Your throat may feel sore for a day or two afterwards.

After a week or so, the capsule will naturally detach from the lining of the oesophagus and will pass through your digestive system and leave the body in your stools. It can then be flushed away.

Your consultant will arrange a follow up appointment to discuss your results and any next steps with you.

Are there any risks/complications associated with the BRAVO pH test?

As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist beforehand will help you avoid any adverse reactions.

The BRAVO pH test has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following risks and complications can occur in a small number of cases:

  • A tear in the oesophagus
  • Capsule retention
  • Bleeding

How can I prepare for the BRAVO pH test?

Prior to having a BRAVO pH test, your specialist will discuss with you how best to prepare, as each patient is different.

You will also be asked to refrain from eating anything for six hours prior to the procedure.

You may also be asked to stop taking certain medications that help to control acid production but your medical team will give you more advice.

Are there alternatives for the BRAVO pH test?

An alternative test is a catheter based pH test (through the nose) or a barium swallow. Your specialist will discuss your options with you so that you get the best result.

Call 020 7467 4344 or fill in your details below to make an enquiry
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