According to the American College of Gastroenterology, approximately 70 million Americans are affected by gastrointestinal disorders. Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital is always looking for the latest advancements in diagnosis and treatment for our patients, and a new monitoring tool for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is now available.
"GERD occurs when stomach acid leaks back into the esophagus, which can cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat,” explains Arturo Bravo, MD, gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Cy-Fair Hospital. “This acid can irritate and even damage the delicate lining on the inside of the esophagus. The most common symptom is heartburn, an uncomfortable burning sensation behind the breastbone, most commonly occurring after a meal.” Severe or chronic GERD may cause complications such as inflammation, ulcers, and bleeding of the esophagus, and overtime scarring or narrowing of the esophagus can occur.
Cy-Fair Hospital now offers the Bravo pH Monitoring System, which may be used for some patients in the place catheter-based monitoring systems. “The Bravo system is the first non-catheter pH monitoring system and makes monitoring heartburn easier on the patient,” says Thang Le, MD, gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Cy-Fair Hospital. “It allows the patient to return home to go about normal activities while the monitoring occurs.”
The process involves a capsule being placed in the patient’s esophagus. The patient is able to then return to normal activities while the capsule begins immediately transmitting pH levels to a device worn on the waistband or belt. The patient records their symptoms and habits in a diary during the monitoring period and then returns to the doctor approximately 24 to 48 hours later. “With the data collected from the monitoring system along with the diary information provided by the patient, your doctor can determine a treatment plan that is appropriate for you,” explains Dr. Le.
“Cy-Fair Hospital is proud to be utilizing such an advanced technology,” adds Dr. Bravo. “It is our goal to make our patients comfortable, and the Bravo pH Monitoring System will allow us to do this more easily.”
If you think you may have GERD and would like to see a doctor, call 800-681-6733 for a complimentary physician referral.