BRAVO pH Testing

What is Bravo pH testing?

Bravo pH testing is an innovative way to measure reflux issues. It is a minimally invasive investigation that involves placement of a temporary capsule in the food pipe to measure how often stomach contents reflux into the oesophagus and how high the acidity levels are. The test is recommended for people with GORD (chronic reflux) and LPR (silent reflux) and creates a highly accurate picture of the patient’s condition.

The BRAVO capsule is the same size as a small pill. It attaches to the lining of the food pipe (oesophagus) above the valve for the stomach. The capsule sends wireless signals to a receiver to record the acid levels in the gullet over 48 hours.

What happens during Bravo pH testing?

Before the procedure patients need to stop their heartburn/reflux medications, so that the drugs don’t mask the severity of the person’s reflux and their real acidity levels can be recorded. The Bravo capsule is fitted via endoscopy.

First the doctor will insert a camera down the throat into the oesophagus and the stomach, to measure where to place the capsule. Then the camera will be removed and the Bravo capsule is put in place. From here it transmits signals to a receiver which the patient wears either over the shoulder in a small bag (it’s about the size of a mobile phone). The capsule sends signals to the receiver for 48 hours and then stops recording automatically.

The patient can eat/drink as normal and continue normal day-to-day activities. The receiver must be worn at all times except when showering/bathing (as the receiver is not waterproof). The receiver can pick up signals from the capsule up to 3 feet (1 metre) away so it can be placed somewhere dry nearby while the person washes.

The capsule will stay attached to the lining of the gullet for about a week, then it drops off and passes naturally through the digestive system. The procedure isn’t painful, but some people feel a sensation between the ribs where the capsule is attached or a little discomfort when swallowing (chewing carefully, drinking liquids or taking paracetamol/ibuprofen may help minimise this sensation).

The Bravo capsule is a good alternative to measure acid reflux in patients who cannot tolerate a tube down the nose for 24 hours. Complications are very rare. However the test is not suitable for everyone. Those with bleeding disorders, strictures, severe oesophagitis, varices, obstructions, pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator should not undergo a Bravo procedure.

Dr Rehan Haidry offers Bravo testing routinely to patients with GORD/chronic reflux and LPR/silent reflux, as it is a highly accurate diagnostic. It will be offered alongside gastroscopy is; a test to look inside the food pipe with an endoscope (a thin flexible tube with a tiny camera) at the cell lining and investigate any structural problems that might be causing reflux.

Get In Touch

For any enquiries about conditions, tests or treatments, please feel free to call Dr Rehan Haidry’s medical secretary Debra Hyams on:

Tel: 0203 423 7609  |  Email: