Bravo™ pH Monitoring in Hattiesburg, MS

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Bravo pH monitoring is a method used by the providers at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to evaluate the esophagus for signs of long-term gastric reflux. We employ this technology to track pH levels in the esophagus over 48 hours. This lets us measure the extent to which acid reflux has damaged the food pipe and determine how to approach treatment of the condition.

The Bravo pH test is commonly recommended for patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a term used to describe lasting damage done to the esophagus by acid reflux over time. It may also be used to diagnose chest pain or to monitor the esophagus before surgery. If you are experiencing pain or irritation in your esophagus as a result of frequent bouts of heartburn (acid reflux), a Bravo pH exam may help diagnose your issue so you can start treatment. Reach out to our offices today to learn more about how our physicians carry out esophageal pH monitoring in Hattiesburg, MS.

Your stomach uses acid to help break down the food you eat. This acid is normally kept out of your throat by a barrier called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that opens to allow food down and closes again to protect the esophagus. Sometimes, the LES does not adequately close, allowing stomach acid to flow upward and causing the burning sensation we commonly know as heartburn. While most of us experience heartburn from time to time (often triggered by certain foods or activities), people who frequently suffer from it tend to develop scarring along the esophageal lining as a result of repeated exposure to the acid. This is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short. If you experience heartburn at least twice a week and fail to find relief from over-the-counter medications, you may be living with GERD.

GERD is a fairly common problem, affecting an estimated 20 percent of adults in the United States. Fortunately, its symptoms are manageable with lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medical intervention. Individuals suffering from GERD in Hattiesburg, MS can start their recovery by working with a gastrointestinal specialist to explore treatment options. Reach out to Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to learn more.

Bravo pH testing is done with the help of a small pH monitor attached to the lower portion of your esophagus. To install the probe, your Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC provider will insert a thin, pliable scope through your mouth and down the food pipe to set it into place. The Bravo probe will transmit its findings wirelessly to a receiver worn on the belt. The receiver also features three buttons you can press when you experience heartburn, chest pain, or regurgitation from acid reflux.

Once the testing period is over, the pH probe will naturally detach from the esophagus and progress through your digestive tract, eventually passing out of your body in your stool. Afterward, you'll return the receiver to your gastroenterologist so they can study the results.

Most patients are advised to stop taking any medications for acid reflux for about a week leading up to their Bravo probe procedure. You will also be directed not to take any H2 blockers (such as Zantac®, Pepcid®, or similar medications) for two days before the procedure. Antacids are restricted for the six hours preceding the exam. In addition to taking a break from those medications, you should not eat or drink anything for 4 – 6 hours before your procedure.

Your gastrointestinal physician may give you alternative instructions depending on your specific needs. It is crucial that you follow these directions to ensure the procedure goes smoothly. If you have any questions regarding the preparations needed before your Bravo pH monitor can be placed, talk to your provider at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC.

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You should plan to get to the endoscopy center 30 – 60 minutes prior to the start of your procedure. This will give you ample time to fill out the required patient forms and prepare yourself for the test.

Once you're in the procedure room, your Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC provider will instruct you to lie down or recline on the exam table so you're comfortable. They may administer a local anesthetic to your throat before gently feeding a flexible scope through your mouth and down to the bottom of your esophagus. The Bravo probe device will then be suctioned to your esophagus. Most patients report little to no discomfort during this procedure. Once in place, the probe will be connected to the recording device, which you will need to keep with you throughout the monitoring period. In total, the procedure takes about 15 – 30 minutes.

No sedation is used for the placement procedure, so you will be fine to leave the endoscopy center shortly after it's done. Most individuals can eat and drink normally after the procedure is done, but your gastroenterologist in Hattiesburg, MS might provide specific instructions for you regarding exercise, food, and medications following the exam.

After the 48 hours are done, the probe will detach on its own and pass through your body naturally. You'll need to return to our office so we can collect the recorder and study the results. You'll schedule a follow-up appointment to review the findings.

Bravo pH monitoring is a quick, convenient solution for the GI specialists at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC to evaluate esophageal disorders brought on by the effects of GERD. To learn more about the procedure or to schedule a Bravo pH monitoring test in Hattiesburg, MS, contact our team today. Our providers take a patient-first approach to help individuals find relief and improve their quality of life.

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