The Bravo system is a pH test to help your doctor determine if you have
acid reflux. A pH test measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity in
your oesophagus. The test period usually lasts 24 to 48 hours, and
measures acidity in two ways:
How often stomach acid flows into the lower esophagus
Degree of acidity during the test period
Bravo system consists of a capsule, approximately the size of a gel cap
that is temporarily attached to the wall of your oesophagus. The
capsule measures pH levels in the oesophagus and transmits this
information wirelessly to a portable receiver that the patient can wear
on your waistband.
What should I expect during a Bravo test?
The doctor will insert the pH capsule into the oesophagus. During the
procedure the capsule is locked in place with typically little or no
As soon as the capsule is attached, it begins measuring the pH levels
in your oesophagus. The capsule transmits these measurements wirelessly
to a small receiver you wear on your waistband or belt. As long as the
capsule and receiver are within 3 feet of each other, the system will
measure and record your pH levels. This means you can place the receiver
nearby when bathing or sleeping without interrupting the test.
The receiver is about the size of a standard pager, and has three
symptom buttons. You will be instructed to press the appropriate button
during the study when you experience heartburn, regurgitation, or chest
pain. The Bravo Receiver is designed to prevent you from turning it off
during the test period.
You will also be asked to record periods of eating and sleeping in a
diary throughout the test. You can go about your daily routine without
Please note: The capsule contains a tiny magnet, and you should not
undergo an MRI study within 30 days of using the Bravo system.
What should I expect after the Bravo test?
When the pH study is complete, you will return the receiver and diary
to your doctor's office. The information stored in the receiver will be
uploaded to a computer. Your doctor will analyze your results to
determine if you have acid reflux and plan the best treatment for your
The disposable capsule will spontaneously detach and pass through your digestive system a few days after the test period.
What are the possible complications of Bravo?
If you have a bleeding tendency, narrowing of the esophagus, severe
irritation of the esophagus, varices, obstructions, a pacemaker, or an
implantable cardiac defibrillator, you should not undergo a Bravo pH
The capsule contains a small magnet, you should not have an MRI study within 30 days of undergoing the Bravo pH test.
Rare complications from using the Bravo pH Monitoring System include the following events:
The capsule could detach from the esophagus before the test is complete
The capsule may fail to detach from the esophagus within several days
after placement, or there may be discomfort associated with the pH
capsule, requiring endoscopic removal
Tears in the lining of the esophagus, causing bleeding and requiring possible medical intervention