What is Bravo pH monitoring? - DeKalb Medical's Heartburn Solutions Center

Author: DeKalb Medical at North Decatur

Pam Briggs: If you suffer from frequent heartburn, indigestion, or get a bitter taste in your mouth, you may be suffering from GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD can lead to serious medical problems, Bravo pH monitoring can allow us medical folks to help evaluate and diagnose your symptoms Hello, I'm Pam, you may have met with me at DeKalb Medical's Heartburn Solutions Center, or you may just be curious what wireless Bravo pH monitoring is. I'm going to take a few minutes to explain what you need to know during your test. This little capsule is what does all the testing for us.

It sends information to this recorder, which tracks the pH levels in your esophagus over a 48 or 96-hour period. It's literally giving us an inside look at your problem. To put this in place, your doctor will administer a local anesthesia, and perform an upper endoscopy the doctor then will attach the capsule to your esophagus using a delivery device. There's no catheter or tube left in place everything is completely wireless. Let's go over some key points that you need to know for the procedure to go smoothly. Stop taking your stomach acid reducing medicines 7 days before the date of the test.

If you're concerned about stopping these, call the Nurse Coordinator and we'll work it out. If your doctor has instructed you to remain on stomach medications, make sure to follow those instructions. Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before your test. Wear comfortable clothes on the day of the test. If you take Coumadin, Plavix or aspirin, be sure the Nurse Coordinator is informed of this. Further instructions will then be provided for you. Now let's go through what you need to know to have the rest of the test go well. Do not get the monitor wet, you may not take it into the shower or bath with you.

Set it aside and put it back on as soon as possible. Avoid chewing gum, hard candy and mints while the test is being performed. During the test eat the foods that you would normally eat and continue your normal activities. Make sure to eat definitive meals and consume drinks at specific times. In other words, avoid nibbling small amounts of food over long periods of time or sipping a drink slowly since this will produce an inaccurate study. After the 48 or 96 hours have gone by the monitor will stop recording. The capsule will normally fall off in 7-10 days and you will pass this as waste.

What is Bravo pH monitoring? - DeKalb Medical's Heartburn Solutions Center

It is a good idea to place the monitor as close as possible to you when you go to bed for the night, and place it facing you in case any of the symptoms wake you up and you have to push a button. The monitor must be within three feet of you at all times, if it's too far from you it will beep and the signal will become weak. If this should happen, just hold it up to your chest to re-establish connection. After a full 48 or 96 hours have gone by the monitor stops. Please just put the monitor away and return it to the same location as instructed. Do not try to plug the monitor in, it must be done on a special computer. You could erase all of your hard work if you try to plug it in.

Remain off all of your stomach medications during the 48-96 hours of recording unless your doctor has instructed you otherwise. During the test you'll be using this recording device, so let me go over how it works. One of the most important points to remember is the monitor acts much like a smart phone, it goes to sleep to conserve its battery, and you must wake it up to start any events. We are going to take a tour of the machine and then go into specifics on how you will interact with the equipment in just a moment. You will note these three icons across the screen. You will also note on the bottom right hand there is a small capsule recording light that will flash blue every 60 seconds or so. During the testing period, keep in mind that if this flashes any other color; you need to let the nurse coordinator know.

This is the Sleeping and lying down button. Lying down also means lying back in a recliner or lying on the sofa, not just going to bed. This is the meal button; push the meal button for eating and drinking.

These are your symptom buttons, Chest Pain, Regurgitation, or Heartburn. The icons will correspond with the triangle, circle and square. If you have different symptoms we can change them to correspond with your particular symptoms. Now let’s take a look at what it looks like to use the monitor to record your meals.

First, you wake up the monitor which you can do by pushing any of the buttons. When you push any button you will see the monitor backlight come on. Okay, now that we have the monitor awake, push the meal button (you will note that the small window above the knife and fork is flashing green, which is telling you what the machine is doing for you) If you should look down after 3 hours and it still blinking, that means that you forgot to turn off the monitor. Now, go ahead and have your food or drink. When you have finished eating, you will wake up the recorder once again and then push the knife and fork button the complete the meal. The monitor works the same for lying down and sleeping, push any button to wake up the monitor, and then push the lying down button, then go ahead and lay down. When you are ready to get up, push any button to wake up the monitor and then push the lying down button once again the complete the recording.

Okay, now let’s move on to how to record your symptoms: this works the same way as the sleeping and meals modes do, except you will not have a start and stop time. Symptoms such as heartburn or regurgitation will have only a wake up to the monitor and a one-time push. When you push one of the symptom buttons, you will see a green indicator light that will illuminate for 3 seconds, which confirms that it has recorded your symptoms, you will also hear a beep. Should you forget to push a button or stop an event, write it down on your patient diary sheet and make sure to bring it you return your Bravo monitor. Phew! After that you're all done, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor to go over the test results. And then we'll recommend treatment. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen and prepare. We'll see you soon!.

What is Bravo pH monitoring? - DeKalb Medical's Heartburn Solutions Center

Pam Briggs: If you suffer from frequent heartburn, indigestion, or get a bitter taste in your mouth, you may be suffering from GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD can lead to…

By: DeKalb Medical at North Decatur