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BRAVO pH Monitoring

How to Prepare | What to Expect On Arrival | What to Expect After | For More Information

The BRAVO pH capsule measures and monitors gastroesophageal acid levels (pH). BRAVO pH monitoring is used to evaluate how much and often you experience gastroesophageal reflux during a normal day. Gastroesophageal reflux can occur for a variety of reasons, including: food triggers (alcohol, chocolate, coffee, spicy or fatty meals), obesity, smoking and/or stomach abnormalities such as a hiatal hernia, to name a few.

An upper GI endoscopic procedure, BRAVO involves placing a capsule into the esophagus above the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). After the capsule is positioned, it is applied to the esophageal wall. This action secures the BRAVO capsule into place. You will then wear a small monitor for 48-96 hours, a minimum of 48 hours, allowing the capsule to wirelessly transmit information.

How to Prepare for BRAVO pH Monitoring

  • No acid suppressing medication including proton pump inhibitors (i.e. omeprazole, lansoprazole), Histamine 2 blockers (i.e. ranitidine or Pepcid) or antacids is allowed to be used for 1 week before this procedure.   
  • No food or liquids (this includes water) minimally 6 hours prior to the procedure.
  • You may also have diet and/or medication restrictions the week prior to the exam. Please consult with your physician for detailed instructions. 
  • Plan to take the day off from work for the exam.
  • Plan to have someone you know drive you home. Since the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation, you will be instructed to not drive a car or return to work until the next day.
  • Inform your physician of any special needs, medical conditions, latex allergy or current medications you are taking.
  • The GI Lab staff will attempt to contact you the evening before your procedure to answer any questions you may have.

What to Expect Once You Arrive for BRAVO pH Monitoring

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You may have an intravenous line placed, since the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation.
  • You will be asked if there is a responsible person to drive you home after the exam.
  • The procedure usually takes about 20-30 minutes.
  • During the exam, there is often a feeling of pressure in the abdominal area.
  • Your physician may give you medication to help you relax and better tolerate the exam.
  • Patients usually lie on their left side.
  • During the endoscopic procedure the physician may take biopsies (small tissue samples) or remove polyps (growths on the lining of the stomach).

What to Expect After BRAVO pH Monitoring

  • After the procedure is completed you will recover for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • You may experience a sore throat after the procedure.
  • Once you have met the discharge criteria, the physician will discuss with you the preliminary findings.
  • After the recovery period, you will able to go home and usually eat right away.
  • Diet and/or medication restrictions may be given to certain patients depending on the findings of the exam.
  • You will be wearing a receiver (which looks like a pager) for 48-96 hours and will be asked to press the receiver buttons to keep track of activitites, meals and symptoms.
  • Return the receiver to the GI lab where the procedure was performed after 48-96 hour period.
  • No MRIs suggested for 30 days.
  • You will receive detailed discharge instructions to take home.

For More Information

The BRAVO pH monitoring procedure is available at all of our GI Lab locations. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists, please call 847.647.1900.

NorthShore offers interpretive language services for non-English speaking patients. A request for this no-cost service should be made at the time of appointment scheduling.