Mimi Murphy's Medical Breakthroughs: Wireless Reflux Test

Medical Breakthroughs
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Chronic indigestion is among the top medical problems in the country and now there is a new test that makes the diagnosis painless.

There's more going on here than meets the eye. It's a tiny transmitter inside Lori Lassiter's body. As she eats, it detects any signs of the serious digestive disorder she developed six years ago.

"So all of these devices sense or measure that amount of acid that actually percolates up form the stomach into the esophagus,” explains Dr. C. Daniel Smith, a gastrointestinal surgeon.

With the older test, a narrow tube runs up the nose and down the throat.

"It was very uncomfortable to place cause it goes through the nose and sits there the entire time." Lori says it was awful. "It was also uncomfortable because if you turned your head you could feel the tube rubbing your throat, which would cause the gag reflex which was not very pleasant."

Universally every patient said, it was horrible and if at some point in the future that same patient needed that test repeated b and large those patients refused because of how uncomfortable it was.

A new test called "BRAVO" says good-bye to the tubes and wires. The tiny transmitter is placed just above the stomach and sends data to a belt clip recorder for two days. Patients say they barely feel it. "I don't feel it at all. I don't even know it's there." Now as Lori enjoys a good meal, her doctor can get the right diagnosis.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease affects about 21 million Americans. If left untreated it can lead to serious medical complications including respiratory problems, non-cardiac chest pain and barrett's esophagus, a precursor to cancer.