Although up to 60 percent of Americans experience symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, over the course of a year, until now, pH monitoring tests to determine how much and how frequently acid is refluxing into the esophagus have been cumbersome and uncomfortable for patients, requiring transnasal intubation for the duration of the test. Norman Regional is now providing catheter-free, ambulatory pH monitoring, a gold standard method for measuring pH levels in the esophagus and monitoring gastric reflux.
The Bravo system uses a disposable capsule placed in the esophagus as an alternative to traditional monitoring systems. Bravo pH monitoring is the only commercially available, catheter-free ambulatory pH test featuring up to 96 hours data collection (Catheter-based tests offer 24-hour data collection.)
During the Bravo procedure, a small pH capsule is temporarily attached to the wall of the esophagus. The capsule then transmits pH data via radio frequency telemetry to a small, external, pager-sized receiver worn by the patient. After the test is completed, natural digestive contractions propel the disposable Bravo capsule through the gastrointestinal tract.
Benefits of Bravo Over Traditional Methods:
Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle malfunctions or does not close properly and stomach acid leaks back into the esophagus causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat. Complications of severe or chronic GERD include inflammation, ulcers, and bleeding of the esophagus.
Over time, scarring or narrowing (stricture) of the esophagus may occur. More than 19 million people suffer from GERD and experience symptoms of GERD at least twice a week.