This information is approved and/or reviewed by U-M Health System providers but it is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for medical treatment. You should speak to your physician or make an appointment to be seen if you have questions or concerns about this information or your medical condition.| Complete disclaimer
Bravo® (catheter-free or wireless) pH monitoring study
This guide is for people who are going to have a Bravo® pH monitoring study (also called a catheter-free or wireless pH study) with an upper endoscopy (also called EGD, which is short for esophagogastroduodenoscopy). It answers some of the most commonly asked questions. If you need more information, please ask your doctor or nurse.
Please also look at the guide for Upper Endoscopy (EGD).
What is a Bravo® pH monitoring study?
During your upper endoscopy (EGD), a small capsule will be attached to the lining of your esophagus to measure and record pH levels for 48 hours (2 days). The results can help figure out the cause of frequent heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and acid reflux.
As soon as the capsule is attached, it begins measuring the pH levels in your esophagus. The capsule sends these measurements wirelessly to a small receiver you wear on your waistband or belt. The receiver is about the size of a standard pager.
You will be asked to record periods of eating and sleeping in a diary throughout the study. You will also record when you have heartburn, regurgitation, or chest pain. You will receive these instructions at your appointment.
Please contact your primary care doctor or insurance company if you need a referral for this study.
This study requires two (2) visits:
Visit 1: placement of capsule
Visit 2: return visit two (2) days later with the receiver and the diary
Preparing for your procedure
Please also look at the guide for Upper Endoscopy (EGD)
People with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators cannot have a Bravo® pH study.
You should have nothing to eat or drink for eight (8) hours before your appointment.
Because you will be sedated for the upper endoscopy (EGD), you will not be able to drive after it. You must arrange for a responsible adult (over 18 years old) who can drive or otherwise accompany you to and from the Medical Procedures Unit. Your procedure cannot begin until a responsible adult driver is in the unit. This person should remain in the unit during your entire visit so that they are available as soon as you are ready to be discharged. You will not be discharged unless that person is in the unit. Because your judgment may be impaired after this procedure, you will not be released to take public transportation, a taxicab, or even walk home without another responsible adult present to accompany you.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes, but expect your visit to last two to three (2 to 3) hours, which allows for preparation and recovery. You will return in two (2) days with the receiver and the diary.
The day of the procedure – important information
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call the Medical Procedures Unit at 734-936-9250, option 1, as soon as possible.
Please bring the following with you on the day of your procedure:
- A list of all medicines you are taking
- A list of any allergies you have
- Health insurance cards
- Your blue University of Michigan hospital card
- A responsible adult must accompany you from the Medical Procedures Unit after your procedure.
Your procedure will not begin until the nursing staff speaks with the responsible adult who will take you home. You will not be discharged until that person is in the unit to accompany you from the Medical Procedures Unit. You will not be able to drive for at least 12 hours.
Please leave jewelry at home.
Small children will be more comfortable at home.
Potential complications: All pH monitoring studies have some risks. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and monitoring options. Complications are rare. They will be explained to you when you sign the consent form for the procedure.
During the 48-hour (2-day) study
You may eat normally and go about your daily routine. You will record periods of eating and sleeping in a diary throughout the study. You will also record when you have heartburn, regurgitation, or chest pain.
After the study
In 48 hours (2 days), you will return to the Medical Procedures Unit with the receiver and diary. WE MUST HAVE THE EQUIPMENT RETURNED AT THIS TIME SO OTHER PEOPLE CAN HAVE BRAVO pH MONITORING STUDIES.
The information stored in the receiver will be uploaded to a computer. A doctor will study your results and report them to the doctor who ordered your pH monitoring study.
The capsule will naturally fall off the lining of your esophagus and pass through your digestive system a few days after the study period. The capsule can be flushed away.
You cannot have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) study for 30 days after the Bravo® pH monitoring study.
U-M Health System Related Web Sites:
- Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine
- Directions to the Medical Procedures Unit
- Instructions for Patients with Diabetes Having Outpatient Tests (on insulin)
- Instructions for Patients with Diabetes Having Outpatient Tests (no insulin)
Other Related Web Sites:
- Given Imaging – Bravo pH Monitoring System
- National Institute of Digestive Diseases – Upper Endoscopy
- Your Digestive System and How It Works