The 48-Hour Bravo Esophageal pH Test: A Probe to Study Acid via Monitoring Capsule

My throat. It burns. And it’s been burning for far longer than I’d like to remember. Thing is, my doc isn’t so sure that my GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is really caused by too much acid splashing my esophagus. At one point maybe, but not anymore. No, he believes what I have is NERD, or non-erosive reflux disease. (Poetic justice?) To find out, he had me go through a study called the Bravo pH Esophageal Test.

Academic Overview

The 48-Hour Bravo pH Esophageal Test monitors the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach) for 48 hours in order to determine whether the heartburn I’m feeling is really acid or something else. In this case “heartburn” actually means the burning in my throat, as if I’d just swallowed battery acid, rather than in my chest, as if my heart had burst into flames. (This might indicate another condition entirely, one called LPRD, or laryngo-pharyngeal reflux disease. It’s sort of like GERD, but felt in the throat, not in the chest.)

During the test, the doctor puts a 26mm capsule down the throat and sticks it to the side of the esophagus. A monitor is then given to the patient which records the capsule’s pH readings. These will, in theory, help determine if the person has GERD. Two days later, the monitor is returned. A week later the capsule will detach itself and go through the digestive track.

For more details on the test, including getting ready, check out the Cleveland Clinic’s information site on it.

My Experience

I went over to Tampa General Hospital to get implanted with the Bravo pH capsule. I got there, as per instructions, at 1:30 P.M. Got checked in, found the waiting room which overlooked Tampa Bay and Bayshore Blvd. The Wife, there with me, cracked a smile when she realized she “could see my (her) old high school from here!” The soft music playing in the background made the scene like something out of a travel video. A few minutes later we looked at one of the nearby televisions and realized it was playing a travel video.

After an hour of watching, waiting, and enjoying the aroma of hot chocolate–especially aromatic considering I’d not eaten anything in almost 24 hours–the nurse stopped by with a device the size of a small-to-medium camera which I would, for the next two days, wear around my neck. This would be the external monitor, which would record all the transmissions sent from the tiny device which I would soon have implanted in me. Additionally it had three buttons which I would press every time I felt I had heartburn, regurgitation (food coming up to the back of my throat) or chest pain. Then she gave me a diary and told me to write down all my symptoms along with the time they occurred, making sure to use the time shown on the device itself, and not any other time piece. Beside the time, I would later find out, there was also a display of my current esophageal pH. I would later find this a very useful tool with which to experiment.

With all that said and done, I was brought in for the procedure. I laid down on a bed, clothes and all, and my gastroenterologist came in. He told me to gargle some numbing liquid–“DON’T SWALLOW IT!” he repeatedly reminded me.

“Aren’t you going to put me to sleep?”

“Nope. The procedure will take about a minute. The stuff you just gargled will numb your throat to quell your gag reflex.” As he said that, the nurse stuck a plastic ring in my mouth to keep it open, then strapped it to the back of my head. (Frighteningly S&M-ish.) Then he continued, “Alright, now I’m going to put this down your throat.” It was at that very moment that he pulled out this long, thin hoobajoob, about the size of my arm, out from under some desk. Oh, shit, I thought, as he asked me to turn to my side. “To make this a bit more comfortable I’ve lubricated the device with a bit of water-soluble KY-jelly.” Seriously, I didn’t need to hear that.

As I lay on my side, the doctor stuck the device in my mouth. When he got to the back of my throat he ordered me to swallow. As soon as I did he shoved the hoobajoob all the way down to just above my stomach. That’s when he turned the suction machine on. “Alright, now this will take about a minute, so just relax.”It took everything I had not to start heaving. All I could do was count. Seventy-two seconds later, he pulled out the hoobajoob. A monitoring device about the size of a #2 pencil’s eraser and ferule had been implanted in my esophagus. It would take about a week for it to dislodge itself and go through the Chamber of Doom.

The whole process, the laying down–the gargling stuff, the implantation–all took about ten minutes. It would be an hour before I ate or drank anything, as per doctor’s orders, seeing as the numbing agent I gargled also numbed the control valve which keeps food from accidentally finding its way into the lungs.

The Testing Period

Normal esophageal pH is somewhere between 4 and 7. If it goes lower it indicates that acid is being refluxed, since the stomach’s pH is between 1 and 2. If it goes higher it might indicate bile reflux, although the stomach sometimes as alkaline periods. (The pH of bile is above 8.) Sudden drops of pH (from 7.1 to 5.3, or 6.1 to 3.8) indicate acid reflux. During the testing period my pH went as low as 1.8 and as high as 8.6, possibly 8.8. All this as per the pH display in the Bravo monitoring device I now had hanging around my neck. (It really did look like a camera.) The vast majority of the time it stuck between 4 and 7, usually between 5 and 7. What this means, I have no idea. I will when I get my results back.

I was told to eat foods which would cause my symptoms, so the first thing I did was head to my parents’ house, where my father, a pizza restaurant owner for years, would be making pizza. It was delicious. Deeeelicious. I topped the pizza off with a small Starbucks frappuccinno. Yes, evil, I know, but these are foods I KNOW would bring about symptoms. There was one small hitch with my plan, however…

Did I tell you I have a bad gallbladder? Yeah, I do. Having it taken out sometime soon (probably in the next week). Runs in the family. Also doesn’t help that I spent more than my fair share of time pigging out to crapstacular food. Mia culpa, mia culpa. Problem now was all those highly acidic foods were also fatty enough to cause problems.

My gallbladder took its revenge on me not immediately, but rather the next day. (It holds grudges.) While I had heartburn after the pizza (the pH reading dropped as low as 2.0 for brief periods, but stayed mostly above the 4.0 mark), it wasn’t until the next morning that the problems really started. After my breakfast–a sandwich made of egg whites, wheat bread and kale, followed by a cup of vanilla almond milk–I started feeling bloated. Real bloated. Then suddenly I started having pains. I was having a gallbladder attack. This was at 9:30 A.M. It would be almost 7:00 P.M. that night before the attack passed. In the meantime, my pH fluctuated between way-too-acidic (pH 3) and way too alkaline (pH 8). Since I wasn’t able to eat or drink during this time, the test was pretty much ruined.

I tried to salvage the situation on the final day. I was feeling well enough to eat what I would regularly eat, including low-fat foods that would cause me symptoms, foods like barley, oats, and juice (although it never dawned on me to try out BBQ sauce). For the most part the worst food of the bunch was the barley, which always gives me problems after a while. Don’t know why, really. It goes down fine, but then about an hour later I start burning up. Same with oats. The pH monitor corroborated this observation.

Anyway, the test ended at 4:00 on the dot; that’s when the monitor shut down. I dropped it off at the hospital and was finally rid of the thing. I should be receiving the results sometime this week. At that moment all I cared about was that I could finally go back to doing things like sipping water throughout the day and eating mostly fruits and vegetables, things which I know keep my heartburn at bay, medications or no.

The hardest part of this test, gallbladder problems aside, was that I couldn’t take anything for the discomfort I felt. I couldn’t chew gum, couldn’t suck on hard candies, couldn’t drink water to wash out the acid, and certainly couldn’t take antacids. Hopefully, however, this test shows that things aren’t as bad as I thought they’d be, even though they’re obviously not good. Now that it’s over I’m only concerned with one thing: getting rid of the bad, un-salvageable gallbladder. That’s a story for some other time.

Edit: If you want to read a bit more about my observations, check out this MedHelp thread, where I talk a bit about this.

169 thoughts on “The 48-Hour Bravo Esophageal pH Test: A Probe to Study Acid via Monitoring Capsule

  1. Question: I am having the Bravo put in on Monday. I have suffered for months from a pain below my Adam;s Apple (pressure type feeling). I have had MRIs and CatScans to rule out the “C” word, and numerous tubes down the nose and throat because I had lost my voice for close to three weeks at one point. Now that I had to lay off my Dexilant (which has truly improved my life…not comepletely but better) for the week before the procedure I am back to coughing alot and feeling like I have the dry heaves. My question is this: considring I wont be on the meds during the Bravo test, can coughing and dry heaves screw up the capsule’s security in my esophogus? Can it get dislodged? I am sure there has to be people like me who cough from the acid or whatever so this has got to be a common question? Right? Thanks!

    1. @Vince – In theory, I suppose it could, but its unlikely, given how the pill is attached to your esophagus. This is a question for your doctor, however.

    2. I TOO GAG ALOT AND HAVE DRY HEAVES, WHAT TO DO W/O MEDS FOR 48 HOURS WILL BE HARD!!! LET ME KNOW HOW YU MADE OUT WITH THIS PROBE??

      MAY YEARS AGO WHEN FIRST DIAGNOSESD I HAD THE TUBE, THAT WASN’T TOO BAD.
      BUT GOING W/O MEDS I CALLED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND BEGGED TO TAKE SOMETHING,THE DR SAID NO, YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW MORE HOURS TO GO AND WILL ONLY HAVE TO START FROM THE BEGINNING AGAIN.

  2. @Suzette – depending on how they do the insertion (awake or asleep), you may feel like gagging during the procedure itself. After that, the pill will likely take some getting used to, but in my case, I couldn’t even feel it after 4 hours.

    The 24hr test and the 48hr are completely different. The first requires a tube down your nose and throat. The second just requires a small pill to be placed in your esophagus. It also gives more accurate results.

    1. I had the EGD with the Bravo and have completed the 48 hrs. Each and every swallow of anything was followed by a wave like contraction that spread down my chest out under each rib. It was less with liquids. Uggg! Hope it subsides after the capsule falls off. Hoping that will be sooner rather that later.

  3. Just had the Bravo pH monitoring system (48 hours test) put in this morning during an EGD at the hospital.

    It’s been 5 hours so far and I don’t know it’s there. It really depends on how good your Dr is. Mine does this almost every day and has had only two cases where patients don’t tolerate it well. He took out after the 48 hours. Mine should come out naturally

    Once we left the hospital I went out for a hamburger!

    I normally take 3 different types of GERD meds a day and can’t take them for another 2 days for a total of 7 without them. Lots of heart burn and little sleep but I’ll be glad to find out what is really going on.

  4. Great blog! I have been suffering from damned LPR/GERD type symptoms for the past 2+ years. Symptoms are mostly in my throat (globus, tired voice, phlem, clearing of throat but no pain in chest, no heart burn and no regurgitation). Do all the recommended things in terms of diet, I don’t smoke, not overweight and don’t drink (36 yr male, 150lbs, work out 3x week). Tried all types of PPIs on and off without too much success (they help initially but then wear off). Had EGD last year: negative for H Pylori and Barrett’s but showed severe gastrtis. Have the Bravo and gastric emtying scheduled for next month. ENT scoped and said I had red/irritated throat.

    The ONLY medicine that helps me is a low dose of XANAX (.25mg). My symptoms improve SIGNIFICANTLY when I take it; no matter what I eat. My GI is baffled; says it should actually make my symptoms worse. I don’t have anxiety and lead a fairly low key, low stress lifestyle.

    Has anyone had LPR/GERD relief from taking XANAX?? I would love to know.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Homan,
      Yeah, I have to admit, that like your GI, I’m baffled. XANAX usually slows down your rate of digestion, making it worse. Unless you had some type of anxiety (which would then be causing your digestive track to slow) I don’t see how the XANAX would help. Still, if it does, who am I to argue, right?

      Good luck with the gastric emptying exam, though you may want to stop the Xanax, as it may skew the results. Having had 2 of those myself (I talk about the first here), I know the feeling too well. Luckily, it’s not a painful test. First they feed you, then they lay you down. Then you wait like 2 hours.

      Best of luck, and let us know what you find out.

    2. I just had the Bravo implanted this morning because I am having surgery for reflux and this test is required. Xanax also helps me tremendously when I’m having a reflux attack. It’s because stress greatly exacerbates reflux, and since Xanax is an anti-anxiety drug, it helps calm things down, at least for me. I am in awful pain from this thing in my esophagus and will definitely be living on Xanax for the next 48 hours. Xanax, like any sedative, can relax the esophageal sphincter muscle, so that’s probably why they say it should make symptoms worse. But I agree, for me it helps a lot, probably because stress does seem to go right to my gut.

    3. Yes, I definitely get relief from my symptoms with the use of Ativan…. I have what we figure is esophageal spasms and I get chest pain so bad, it feels like a heart attack… the longest episode was from 6 a.m. to midnight when I finally knocked myself out with Ativan. I mentioned it to my GP and he gave me a script for it until we get the 24 hr. pH probe and motility test done to find out what the real issue is… I have the tube up my nose currently and it is so damned uncomfortable. It is pulling and tugging… when I eat, it pulls… my nose is so sore – the back of my throat is sore… never again…

    4. Hey…I hate to hear your symptoms but I too have the EXACT symptoms and my profile is very similar to you except for I am 56 (DAMN!!!)

      I wasn’t convince that I have LPR but after hearing you I think maybe I do. The GI doctor wanted me to do this EGD with Bravo PH test and I guess I will have it done.

      I have had this problem for close to 9 years with every year getting worse, This past 9 months has been very very very bad. Can’t sleep anymore with all of the mucus/plem in my throat. I hate to hear you have this damn disease but you have help me with understanding..I wish you only the best luck.. PS..I now have the pain in my chest for over a month or two.. DAMN!!!!!!

    5. Just wondering how you’re doing now. I have the EXACT SAME symptoms! AGHH!! I am scheduled for the Bravo procedure and then possibly the LINX surgery.

  5. I just read your bio and saw that you live in Tampa (Land O Lakes). I live in S. Tampa (also a USF alum)! Small world. Funny thing is that I came across your blog while sitting in my hotel room in Shanghai…

    Given your knowledge and experience, I was hoping you would have heard of the Xanax “treatment” for LPR. It has been an extremely frustrating 2 years, as I’m sure you can relate. I now know that I have to endure a bunch of fun procedures to hopefully get some sort of a diagnosis.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    PS. I forgot to mention that I have had Crohn’s disease since I was 16. Fortunately, it is under control and my GI (who is at USF Health) seems to think it is unrelated to the the reflux issue.

    1. My husband (73 yrs. old) has just been diagnosed with Chrohn’s. He has been put on Asacol. He also takes Xanax. But so far the only thing that has helped his nausea is Prednisone. What do you take? We are still in the process of tring to work this out. Any info you could give us would help.

      1. Unfortunately, I can’t offer any advice for Crohn’s. A friend’s son has it, and he takes Remicade, but having heard about the side effects… I don’t know. I’m quite sorry to hear about the diagnosis, though. All the best.

    2. I forgot to mention that I’m having the Brava thing this coming Monday in conjunction with a EGD. I’m expecting to be put to sleep as usal with an EGD. I didn’t know it took a long time to come loose and to move on out. I wasn’t dreading it till I read this blog! I’m more worried about it not solving any problems. I have “indigestion”, terrible tightness and discomfort in my chest, phlegm in my throat, spitting, hoarseness, etc for years. I had gall bladder tests because fatty foods seem to bother me, but they all turn out negative. I’m 71 and spitting and coughing like an old man…I hate it. It also interferes with my singing voice. C

      1. I wouldn’t dread it were I you. I can’t say I experienced the side effects people here talk about. In fact, the whole experience was pretty enlightening to me, and is actually recommend the study to anyone having GERD symptoms. (Think about it this way/ how many people talk about a medical procedure, maybe raving about it online, when everything goes well? Conversely, how many people talk about it and rant online when things go badly? Although complications are few and far between, they’ll have sisporportionate representation in forums such as these.)

        One thing to remember is that both of these are diagnostic tests, therefore they’re not going to fix or cure anything. They’re just to see what’s going on, in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

  6. OMG now I’m terrified to have this done. I’m having swallowing problems, feels like everything is stuck in my throat. I have chest pain behind my breastbone and I’ve had 3 EGD’s done since August. I also have alot of nasal drainage when I eat and I cough and feel like I need to clear my throat. I had to switch doctors because he told me I was having phantom pains. Now idk what to do, I think I will panick if I can feel this in me.

    Wow, really don’t know what to do, I was so apprehensive and now its worse.

    1. Hi Deana,
      First, don’t be terrified. As I mentioned before in this thread, out of 1000 people that have this done, maybe 1 has a problem of any sort, and it’s usually a matter of discomfort during the process. The reason the good news doesn’t outweigh the bad is because, think about it: how many people go online to say “I’m doing great!” versus how many people go online and complain? Complaints are usually done out loud, and praise is usually done in silence. As I said in the article, mine went great: I just wish it would have been longer, so it could be more accurate! My bad gallbladder (which has since been removed) ruined the darn test.

      Now, are there complications that can arise from this? Sure, but they’re highly unlikely. Your worrying will likely actually cause more issues for you than the procedure, that’s for sure. (Fun fact: There are a LOT more risks related to the EGD than the Bravo study. You’ve had 3 of those, and you’re not the worse for them.)

      As for your symptoms, they sound a lot like mine. The Bravo study is warranted, and you should definitely have it done. Don’t be afraid. Feel free to keep us (me and whoever decides to read this) up to date here.

  7. First of all thank you so much for posting your own experience, opinions and pretty comments here in this blog.

    i am suffering from gastritis, reflux, extreme bloating, throat and mouth irritation, nausea etc from last 3 year. i also had H.pylori positive and i took about 7-8 courses of triple therapy antibiotics. Then finally got H.Pylori negative after 2 years.
    but the problem is, i feel same kind of reflux, bloating, stomach pain, nausea after completely eradication of H.pylori, i don’t know why ?
    (Almost 4-6 month have passed)

    currently i am on PPI 40 mg (Pantaparazole) in the morning, H2 Blocker (Zantac) at the time of going bed, Antacid (Gaviscon) after every meal and a tablet of Ganaton OD early in the morning.

    i cannot eat fatty or greasy food as it cause all the problems to me bloating, nausea, throat irritation, lumps, mouth sores etc.

    i have lost 14 Kg weight during the past last 3 years and now feels very weak. ( My waist was 35″ in 2000 and now only 31″ inch ).

    And my Doctor is saying your stomach is producing large amount of acid because of past H.Pylori infection and will some time to become normal. He also has refused me to go for endoscopy.

    On the other-hand i think, i also have bile reflux disease. because when ever i try to stop my PPI and other medications, i always get some thing (yellowish in color ) in my mouth and throat which give burns effect and hurts me alot.

  8. I had an Endoscopy with the Bravo Capsule on last Tuesday. My problem is this capsule still has not ejected from my body & it is very uncomfortable. How much longer will I have to wait?

    1. I honestly can’t tell you, as I didn’t exactly go looking for it, but I will say I felt better about a week afterwards. I think it took about 6 days to dislodge.

  9. Very interesting — I’ve had LPRD for about 4 years, and I’ve had the wire-up-the-nose pH test a couple of times, but recently I refused to do that anymore, insisting on the monitoring capsule instead. Which, after reading your post, still sounds more pleasant than the wire. šŸ™‚

    Also with the Xanax – interesting because my doctor prescribed me a very tiny dose of another anti-depressant, Amitriptyline, for my LPR…I’m wondering if them both being anti-depressants is a coincidence. Any case, I’d love to hear how you’re doing and what your doc is doing to treat it. I had surgery for it 2 yrs ago, which helped some but not enough, and am now looking at revision surgery sometime next year.

  10. What a small world – I too live in Tampa, but I had my Bravo inserted at USF. It’s been close to 48 hours and I expect the monitor to shut off any moment now. The day it was inserted my throat was a little sore and swallowing sometime hurt, but overall a non-event. I look forward to passing it out, but really, just want to get some answers and results to what has plagued me for years. I finally realized I don’t have to live with that pain anymore!

    Good stuff in this blog!

    1. Thanks. Sorry for the late reply (life is awesome when it’s busy). Best of luck with your Bravo. If you don’t mind my asking, who did yours? Mamel, Brady, or someone else?

      1. I had the bravo done last Tuesday and the spasms are unbearable. Had it done at Florida Hospital in Wesley Chapel. They said I wouldn’t feel it after the 1st day but 4 days later it is worse and the dr has not returned my call. The Internet has 100’s of stories about the same symptoms lasting after the bravo and some having to be surgically removed.

  11. I had the Brovo test dome twice, both revealed negative for reflux, however, ENT says thatI have silent reflux and that my throat is very swollen. gastro doc does not believe in silent reflux, just watched Dr. Oz shoe, I have ALL the symptons of silent reflux. I am presently being treated for allergies and asthma. After watching Dr. Oz show, I am beginning to think that my ENT was correct in saying silent reflex. SOOO! Next question is ,”Is the brovo test accurate?” I think not!!!!
    My first Brovo test was very painful for several days, could not even eat bread. The second test, after about a week , I got darviticulitis. ,HMMMM. Sorry about spelling, but you get the idea.
    And xanax has always been helpful with my stomach problems.

  12. I am about 23 hours into my bravo test. My capsule is causing me a lot of chest pain but I just want to get this all overwith. I have been reading my PH levels a lot. May I ask how your test came back? When I feel good it sits at about 5 but after I eat when I am feeling heartburn/refulx it varies from 1.7-3.9. It has gone to 8.8 just once. I am intrugied at how this all works and how the test is read. Any info? Thanks so much!

  13. Is anyone still talking about this? I had the PH Bravo test last month and just got my results. I am in shock. I knew I had a hiatal hernia before I had the endoscopy. The doctor also removed a polyp and did 3 biopsies – all fine. He placed the capsule and I was on my way. I was fine for about 24 hours. And then the pain came! I had pain after I would swallow from my throat all the way down to my stomach. The doctor prescribed carafate, which coats the lining of the esophagus. The pain was from the irritation of the test. Weird – huh? I have never had a lot of symptoms – I burp some but do not have a lot of reflux or regurgitation. I have a nagging dry cough and a bad taste, a little heart burn that tums will cure. My test monitor didn’t show me any numbers but the normal level of PH should be below 14.72. My first day was 51.1 and my second day was 70.3 with an average of 62.8! I was shocked. That is considered severe reflux! I don’t have the classic symptoms but they said the acid level is doing serious damage to my esophagus and mucosus (??). Supposed to take prilocec until I see the doctor. I haven’t seen anyone else’s results on here!

    1. Hey Michele,
      Most people don’t share their results, as most people don’t get them (not numbers, anyway.) I shared my results in a reply to this post (you may have to navigate to the previous replies to see it), but in my case my DeMeester score (what you call the PH score) was only 8.4, despite the constant burning in my throat.

      Those are some serious scores! I really hope you can get a resolution, soon.

  14. I just had my endoscopy and bravo probe put in today, I am in pain, but, if I don’t put anything in my mouth, food or drink, it is better. I hate this. I just tested my PH it is so low, at negative. Before this it was only at a trace. Please get in touch with me.

  15. anyone know what this is? i had upper endoscopy and doc says “no ulcer-no inflammation”–everyday i have this condition in my upper gut above the belly button (waxes and wanes, but everyday since october 2012 4 mos and counting)–i do not have heartburn at all altho i seem to have small strange belches thruout the day–this condition goes away daily for awhile but always comes back–another doc said “irritable bowel” (pending a colonoscopy)–i have no diarrhea no blood no constipation etc-no red flags–i highly doubt this condition has anything to do with my lower gi–it feels like reflux without heartburn–doc says get off prilosec-which i did 3 weeks ago–what is this condition??- the 2nd doc said take florastor for 3 months and then get back to him–anyone know what this sounds like? my weight is the same–oh yea i remember when i first got this it started w had no appetite–thanks!

    1. Not familiar with “florastor”, but Dr. Internet says it’s a probiotic. Looks like they’re still suspecting IBS and are treating you accordingly.

  16. Just had my bravo done today. No big deal. Gagged a little. I was nervous about being awake, but it lasts minutes, and most of the minutes you are drifting in and out of lala land. It’s kind of fun seeing your pH! Throat feels sore (but not sore throat sore) and I can only feel the bravo when I’m swallowing or don’t chew fully.

  17. I recently had the Bravo pH done at Tampa General. I am now planning on having the Nissen done. Did you go forward and have this procedure as well? If so, I’m interested in you experience.

    1. No, I didn’t. Because my pH exposure was, ultimately, normal (turns out most of my symptoms were from Eosinophilic Esophagitis, and not GERD), this wasn’t warranted. Additionally, I do have impaired digestion (gastroparesis), which effectively disqualifies me from any type of fundoplication.

      Good luck with your journey, however.

  18. I had my Bravo monitor ‘installed’ last Friday, by none other than Dr. DeMeester himself, so I went in a bit worried but knew that I was in good hands. First they tried putting it in through my nose, but it wouldn’t go. It just kept crunching in my nose. I was crying but the nurse wouldn’t stop. By the third try I was sobbing. Decided to try the other nostril, but they couldn’t get a Qtip in, so they finally went down my throat. No problem, except for the gagging. Plus, they had just pulled a tube out of my nose from a different procedure, so my nose and throat would eventually really hurt. I live quite a ways from Dr. DeMeesters Los Angeles office, so I will be mailing my Bravo back. I was told to insure it for $5,000.00! Anyhoo, every swallow, whether its food or spit, has been painful. Nose hurts where they assaulted me (not really). Today I feel lousy and never even got dressed. I am a sick cookie. Not just physically, but mentally. I love to tinker. I can’t wait to extract my monitor (ewww!).
    I found by keeping my own journal of times and ph levels over the course of the 48 hours, to be very interesting. Very seldom was my ph low, but it tended to be high, averaging 7+. I guess that that means more iff a regurgitation problem, which is what I suspected. I have never had heartburn or traditional reflux, which would explain why Omaprazole (Prilosec) never did a thing for me. I have been coughing for 3 years, have difficulty swallowing and a problem with food and/or drink coming back up, especially when I bend over. I have a hiatal hernia. I had surgery for it on July 31, 2012. It was an utter and complete failure. Complications. I also had Nissan fundoplasty. Failure, also. Because of scar tissue from that and gall bladder removal the year before, I must now have an extreme specialist (Dr. DeMeester) perform my surgery. I am very confidant now, but I sure do wish this to finally be over and lead a normal life.

  19. Just had a BRAVO pH test done this morning. It is far easier than the running down the nose tube system and I was under general anesthesia briefly. It costs more because of this, but sure was easy and the monitor is wireless and fairly easily concealed. The other advantage is that it was a traditional Endoscopy as well where they could look around. I have the monitor now and will record for 48 hours. There are some odd pains / heartburn and not sure if it is due to the capsule, the procedure or GERD.

    For those who qualify there is a new procedure called the LINX system that is very promising and much, much less invasive and is reversible if needed. The success rate over 3 years is impressive…again it is not for everyone and if there are other complications or issues, they won’t do it. I would not do traditional Fundoplasty if you can avoid, too many negatives and seems to not work as well with time and issues of belching and vomiting are not possible.

    The LINX is a magnetic titanium bracelet that goes around the outside of the bottom of the esophagus above sphincter. Look it up and read about it. Made by Torax Medical.
    and expands and contracts as you swallow

  20. My son who is 18 months is having this procedure done in two weeks along with a m.r.i with and without contrast and a endoscopy procedure i am nervous to say the least, he has been throwing up solid goods since he was old enough to eat solid foods and he isn’t walking either. Is there any advice to give me to ease my mind? thanks and god bless

    1. Hi Tara,
      Unfortunately there’s nothing I can say that won’t sound trite or patronizing. However, the fact that there are so many tests being performed is actually a good sign: it means you’re one step closer to an answer. There are a lot of very treatable and manageable conditions that have these symptoms, like Celiac disease and eosinophilic diseases. They’re a pain sometimes (I have eosinophilic esophagitis, so I kind of understand), but they are treatable.

      Have hope. Remember that in no time in human history have we had so many treatments and options to ensure a long, productive, and happy life.

      All the best.

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