Acid reflux causes heartburn — a burning chest pain — that can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). At the offices in Baytown, North Loop, Houston, and Humble, Texas, GI Specialists of Houston’s highly skilled gastroenterologists offer advanced Bravo™ pH testing to evaluate acid reflux. The minimally invasive procedure uses a tiny capsule attached to your esophagus. To discover how Bravo pH testing can help you overcome painful reflux disorders, call GI Specialists of Houston or book an appointment online today.
Bravo pH testing is an alternative to a pH probe study for evaluating stomach acid levels. A pH probe study uses a pressure-sensitive nasogastric tube that goes down your throat and stays in place for 24 hours. The Bravo pH device is a tiny capsule that links to a small external receiver.
Many people find the Bravo pH capsule less uncomfortable and inconvenient than the standard pH probe study. With Bravo pH testing, you can carry on with your day as normal. The receiver continues to work from several feet away, so you can shower and sleep without interference.
The GI Specialists of Houston team might recommend Bravo pH testing if you’re experiencing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) and other treatments aren’t working.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to let food and drink into your stomach when you swallow, then closes to stop stomach acid from escaping. Acid reflux occurs if the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) weakens. GERD and LPR develop when stomach acid travels up your esophagus, burning the tissues.
Medications, like proton pump inhibitors, reduce the acid levels in your stomach, and lifestyle changes, like losing weight and cutting out fatty and spicy foods, can help. However, if your symptoms don’t improve, Bravo pH testing might be necessary.
The Bravo pH capsule attaches to the wall of your esophagus three-quarters of an inch above the lower esophageal sphincter. The GI Specialists of Houston team fit the capsule using an endoscope — a flexible pipe that fits down your esophagus.
The endoscope has a light and camera that relay images to a screen in the treatment room. That enables your provider to see where to place the capsule. When the Bravo pH capsule is in place, it wirelessly transmits information to a small receiver you wear on your belt for between 24 and 96 hours.
When you experience GERD or LPR symptoms, you press the receiver’s buttons to record what’s happening in your esophagus. You need to keep a diary during Bravo pH testing, including when and what you eat and drink and what you’re doing, like lying down or exercising.
When the Bravo pH test is over, the capsule travels through your digestive tract and passes out in your stool.
To learn more about Bravo pH testing and how it could benefit you, call GI Specialists of Houston today or book an appointment online.