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Acid Reflux Measuring Tests

Bravo pH Testing & Restech Allow Doctors to Measure Acid Reflux

When diagnosing reflux disease, it is helpful for doctors to know just how much acid is refluxing from the stomach into a patient’s esophagus. This information allows them to choose the appropriate treatment.

Depending on if a patient’s symptoms are gastroesophageal (heartburn, chest pain) or laryngopharyngeal (coughing, sinusitis, hoarseness), either the Bravo pH test or Restech test will be used. They are described below.

Bravo pH Testing for Gastroesophageal Reflux

Using an upper endoscopy procedure, the doctor will place a gel cap-sized device called a Bravo capsule in your esophagus. It will stay there for 48 hours while you go about your normal activities. During this time, the capsule measures when and how much acid comes up into your esophagus. It transmits this information to a receiver that you wear on your belt. During the test, whenever you experience heartburn, regurgitation or chest pain, you will need to push one of three symptom buttons on the receiver.

Because the receiver can pick up information up to three feet away, you can temporarily remove the receiver, place it nearby, and sleep and bathe as usual. You will also need to keep a diary to record when you eat and sleep so that the data from the capsule can be matched up to your activities.

After the study, you will turn in the receiver so your doctor can analyze the data it collected. In a few days, the small capsule will fall off and be eliminated through your digestive tract. The Bravo pH study is not the only way that gastroesophageal acid can be measured, but it is the least invasive to a patient’s normal lifestyle.

Restech for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Like the Bravo pH capsule described above, the Restech device is a minimally invasive test to measure reflux. However, it measures not only liquid acid, but also the acid in the reflux vapors that comes up into the patient’s upper respiratory system. Restech consists of a small probe on a wire that is placed through a patient’s nostril and down into the throat. The probe sits behind the uvula (the dangly piece of tissue in the back of the throat). It is made of a flexible polymer so you won't be able to feel it. The probe is placed high enough so that it won't trigger your gag reflex or interfere with eating or talking.

The test lasts from 24 to 48 hours, during which the probe records changes in acid levels. The probe transmits these signals to a small receiver you will be wearing. Whenever you eat, sleep or experience reflux symptoms, you will need to press a corresponding button on the receiver.

When the test is over, you will come to DHI to have the probe removed, and the data in the receiver will be reviewed.

To schedule your acid reflux testing, call (813) 615-7557.



At DHI, we know that after being diagnosed with cancer, patients want and often need to begin treatment quickly. So we make it a priority to offer appointments for cancer surgery consultations within 5 business days, and often earlier. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer, or have just found out they have cancer recurrence, qualify for this priority access. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion. We want to help you start your treatment as soon as possible.

If you have been diagnosed with a cancer of the digestive system, don’t wait.
Call the Digestive Health Institute at (813) 615-7440.

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