PH Testing

Patients who have been experiencing a burning sensation in the center of the chest, sour- or bitter-tasting fluids in the throat or mouth, difficult sitting up from a lying down position, or who find themselves avoiding bending over to prevent acid from backing up into their throat may have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. To diagnose this condition and provide appropriate treatment, East Cooper General Surgery provides pH testing in Mt. Pleasant, SC using the Bravo pH Monitoring System.

Traditional pH testing methods required the placement of a catheter into the esophagus, with the catheter attached to a monitoring device on the patient’s belt and then inserted into their nose and down into the esophagus. Not only was this method uncomfortable, but potentially embarrassing for the patient who had to go about their life with a catheter in their nose. The Bravo system is catheter free and allows the patient to maintain their regular activities and diet.

With the Bravo pH Monitoring System, a pH capsule that is approximately the size of a gelcap is attached to the esophagus. The patient wears a pager-sized receiver at their waist, and pH readings are transmitted to it and recorded. The patient will also be asked to write down any times that they experience acid reflux symptoms. Once the test is complete, a doctor will upload the test data and analyze it to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Several days after the test, the capsule will naturally fall off the wall of the esophagus and pass through the digestive tract.