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Upper GI Endoscopy with a Bravo insert

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Happy New Year Everyone!


Yesterday I went for an upper GI Endoscopy, because I have been having problems with reflux. They also put a Bravo insert on my Esophagus to moniter the ph level for the next 48 hours. I was told I would not even know it was there. I had it done at 4:00. By 7:00 I was home and I ate and my esophagus started having spasms. It has been really painful. I finally took a pain pill and went to sleep. I woke up about 11:30 just in time to bring in the new year! I still had tons of spasms and alot of chest pain. Finally I just went back to sleep. This morning I woke up to the same spasms. I called the nurse, and she said the only thing they could do is take it out, but if I could handle it it was better to leave in. They are not as painful but I still have them whenever I drink or eat. Has anyone had the Bravo test done, and if so did they have any problems?




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Hello Nina


I am sorry you're having these problems and I had never heard of the procedure before so did some surfing! I found that it can cause chest pain and pain upon swallowing food or fluids which is called odynophagia. I had a more successful search using wireless eosophageal ph monitoring than Bravo. It was quite fascinating actually the Bravo method is a wireless capsule unlike the catheter-based test method so at least you didn't have something shoved up your nose and left there for 48 hours! :lol:


I hope that the discomfort settles down and that the results enable you to have the right treatment quickly.


Take care.

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Hi Nina ,


Gareth had a BRAVO chip put in two years ago after his endoscopy. At the time, he was having esopahgeal spasms before the chip was even inserted. His doctor gave him nitro tablets that really seem to help him. It passes in 24-36 hrs, so it shouldn't be too long before it's gone.


Take care, Everyone.


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Hi Nina -


I have not had the Bravo insert put in but I do have esophagus spasms quite often. My esophagus has been dilated twice. They gave me nitroglycerin tablets to take when it spasms. That works quite well and the spasm is gone within a minute or so. I do hope things get easier and you get the right diagnosis and treatment.



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Hi Nina,


I had upper endoscopy and wireless BRAVO done three months ago. I have been getting more esophageal spasms after my partial fundoplication surgery to prevent acid reflux.


However, the BRAVO test did not cause any more spasm.


When I was going to UCSF at San Francisco, CA, they always preferred wired pH test as they believed wired probe provided better accuracy.

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Hi Nina,


I also had an endoscopy with Bravo capsule, manometry, and an impedance test that used a wired sensor in the esophagus. The Bravo capsule was suppose to be painless, but it wasn't so for me. I could hardly swallow anything while it was there, I could tell just when the food or liquid got to the area where the capsule had been placed because I would get horrible painful spasms of the esophagus. Luckily it fell off and passed just about the time the test was suppose to be concluded, and I was painfree once again. The Bravo didn't even give my doctors much information because it only tests Ph, and I have non-acid reflux much of the time. The impedance test is what showed that because it tests for any type of reflux in the esophagus. The tube hanging out of my nose was uncomfortable, and it caused much gaging everytime I moved because the tube would move around in my esophagus and throat. It also was hard to swallow with the tube in place for just about the same reasons as the Bravo.


I'm glad I went through all those tests though because the esophageal studies were about the only symptoms that have been able to be verified to show that something is up, and it isn't just in my head. It turned out that the manometry test was the most helpful in showing what type of problems I'm having. At least, so far things aren't getting any worse. One GI specialist said that I should use techniques of chewing and eating with many sips of liquid to help things along, but he didn't think that my swallowing would get much worse than it already is. That was comforting to know.


Best wishes for results that will be helpful.



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  • 3 years later...

It looks like this is one of the tests I will be going through soon. From the way they described it, a wired test is the one they are going to schedule. I have been reading about it on our medical pages. This doesn't sound like fun, especially since I have such a bad gag reflex. I f I have a tube out of my nose, how do I manage oxygen?


Does anyone have anything to add or something more current? 



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Hi Miocean,


Gene had the Bravo test while he was on oxygen, but after he had his Nissen fudoplication surgery. They did it to make sure that he didn't have reflux anymore, and after he passed the test, he was finally listed for his lung transplant (the first time around.)


He didn't have any problems with it at all. He was still able to work his job as a part-time restaurant greeter white taking the test and on oxygen, and it didn't interfere with his eating or breathing. So for him, it was a painless adventure.  BUT, he does not have scleroderma, his acid reflux was already cured with the Nissen, and in years prior he had esophageal ulcers and had his throat stretched numerous times. 


So, your experience could be different and we would definitely be interested in hearing what it is like, as others in this thread have had some issues with it. However I would guess your biggest concern is how that would work with oxygen, and Gene was always on oxygen 24 hours a day and he managed to breeze through that particular test.


He also uses a CPAP with oxygen, and it was no problem to use during that test...just in case there are others out there with sleep apnea who are concerned about this test.



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Hi mio,


You will remember that I was in hospital in February last year with a bowel blockage.   One of the procedures used during that time was a "hose in my nose" as I labelled it.   Very Dr. Seuss!!!!


It was a bit uncomfortable I must agree, and it did make swallowing a less comfortable exercise than usual, but it was not that bad.    It was there for probably a week to 10 days.  I was very thankful the day they took it out because it meant then that my digestive tract was working again properly.   


My tube was an actual "hose" because it was used to drain the accumulating fluid from my stomach so it was much bulkier than would be used in a wire for Manometry.   My Manometry test was done down my throat and was done in about 40 minutes so I had no real discomfort.


I too have a very senstive gag reflex but actually once the tube was in place I had almost no more trouble.   It was getting it there that was the worst part.   I had lots of comfort and support, somebody holding my hand and rubbing my back so it was all of a sudden all over.   I was given water to sip to help the swallowing part.


Best of luck


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  • 6 years later...

I have the Bravo probe in me now. I switched to a diet of soups and smoothies, because any time food passes the probe it is excruciating. I was told to chew my food thoroughly, which I did, but it was still painful. Ice cream is your friend!  I am two days in and hoping it will fall off soon!


The process itself is interesting, as I can look on the monitor/receiver and see the pH in real time. It changes after I burp, when I lie down, bend over, eat, drink, etc. I'm looking forward to hearing my doctor's conclusions from the data.


Good luck to all who are struggling with GERD. -NB

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Hi Nanby,


Welcome to these forums!


Thanks very much for letting us know about your experience with the Bravo probe and I hope that the discomfort you're feeling from it will soon abate.


Do let us know your doctor's conclusions at the end of the procedure.


Kind regards,

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