48 Hour Esophageal pH Testing (BRAVO Capsule)

What is it?

This test measures the amount of acid that flows back (refluxes) into the esophagus (swallowing tube) from the stomach.  This test is done over a 48 hour period of time. The capsule is attached to the inside of the esophagus and transmits wirelessly to a recorder.  The capsule releases from the esophagus in 3-5 days and is expelled via the bowel.

How do I prepare for the test?

You may or may not be off your acid-suppressing medications for this test.  Your doctor will decide this.  If you are ON Your medications, take them as you normally would.  If you are OFF your medications, do not take them for 7 days before the test.  You may take Tums or Gaviscon up till 6 hours before the test.  Take your other regular medications as usual.

Have nothing to eat or drink for 4 hours before the test.

You will need to sign a consent before the test.

What happens during the test?

A numbing medication will be used in the throat to ease the passage of the capsule.  A narrow, pliable probe is inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus.  You may feel a little pressure in your throat and feel like gagging as the capsule starts to go in.  These feelings will settle once the capsule is in place.  The procedure is generally well-tolerated.  This test takes approximately 10-15 minutes.

What to expect after the procedure:

  • You may resume your normal activity and diet after the capsule is inserted.  Please ensure that you chew your food very well as poorly chewed food can dislodge the capsule prematurely.
  • You will be able to drive yourself home, as you will not have had any medication to relax you.
  • You will be asked to keep a record of your meals and any symptoms that occur during the test period.
  • You will have to return in 48 hours to have the recorder down-loaded..  You will be with the nurse approximately 5-10 minutes.
  • Your doctor will speak with you about the results at your next visit with him/her.


You may not have the BRAVO Capsule if:

  • You have a pacemaker /defibrillator
  • Bleeding disorder, or on blood thinners
  • Esophageal varices
  • History of Crohn’s/Colitis with strictures.
  • No MRI for 30 days

Referring Physicians