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At My Surgical Specialist, our experts specialise in performing all aspects of endoscopy and are experienced in the latest methods of investigating acid reflux disease. Bravo© pH monitoring (also known as a Bravo Capsule) is a new and discreet method of measuring the amount of acid that refluxes back into the gullet with the added benefit of allowing you to continue your daily activities.

Common Questions About Bravo© pH Monitoring

What is Bravo?

Bravo© is a new, more discreet method of investigating severe acid reflux disease. Traditionally, acid reflux is investigated by inserting a thin wire up the nose and down into the oesophagus (also known as the food-pipe or gullet).  This wire stays in place for 24 hours and measures the amount of acid which refluxes into the oesophagus.

Bravo© involves inserting a small capsule using a gastroscope which sticks to the oesophagus.  The capsule sends messages wirelessly to a small device which you give back to your doctor 48 hours after the start of the test. The capsule loosens and detaches naturally and is expelled in the stool.

How long does it take?

The test itself usually takes no more than five minutes to perform.  If we need to take samples of tissue (known as biopsies), the gastroscopy can take a few minutes longer.

In total, you will need to set aside approximately 2-4 hours for a gastroscopy, especially if you decide to have a sedative before the procedure, as we will need to make sure that you are well enough to be discharged from hospital.

Will it hurt?

You should not feel pain during this procedure, however, some patients are anxious about swallowing a camera.  All patients are offered a local anaesthetic spray to numb the back of the throat and for most people, this is sufficient.  If you prefer, you can ask to be given some sedation to make you more sleepy and less aware during the gastroscopy.  Should you choose this option, you will need to stay in hospital for longer until the sedative has worn off and ensure that someone is able to take you home.

How do I prepare for it?

Before you undergo your gastroscopy, you will receive a full and comprehensive guide about how to prepare.  Typically, you should not eat or drink for six hours before your test.  It is also important to let the doctors know beforehand if you take any blood thinning tablets as this may affect whether you can have your gastroscopy, particularly if the doctor wants to take any tissue samples (biopsies).

Are there any risks?

The risk of suffering a complication is approximately 1 in 1000 (i.e. 1 in every 1000 patients suffer a complication).

The main complications are bleeding (which can occur if you are on blood thinning tablets) and perforation (making a tear or a hole).

Although these risks are small, your doctor will always talk to you about possible complications prior to undertaking any procedure.