Why can’t you have an MRI after Bravo?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

The reason why patients should not undergo an MRI study within 30 days of undergoing the Bravo™ reflux test is because the Bravo capsule contains a small magnet. MRI machines use strong magnetic fields to produce detailed images of the body’s internal structures. The presence of a magnet in the body can interfere with the MRI machine and potentially cause harm to the patient.

MRI machines generate powerful magnetic fields that can attract and move metal objects. If a patient has the Bravo capsule in their body during an MRI, the magnetic field could cause the capsule to move or dislodge from its intended position. This could lead to inaccurate readings or even damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Additionally, the strong magnetic field of an MRI machine can cause the magnet in the Bravo capsule to heat up. This can potentially burn the surrounding tissues and cause injury to the patient. Therefore, it is crucial to wait at least 30 days after the Bravo reflux test before undergoing an MRI study to ensure the safety and accuracy of the procedure.

While it may be inconvenient to wait for 30 days before having an MRI, it is essential to prioritize patient safety. In some cases, an MRI may be necessary to diagnose or monitor other medical conditions. In such situations, alternative imaging modalities that do not use magnetic fields, such as CT scans or ultrasound, may be considered.

It is important for healthcare providers to inform their patients about the potential risks and precautions associated with the Bravo reflux test and MRI studies. Patients should be educated about the need to disclose any implanted devices or foreign bodies, such as the Bravo capsule, before undergoing an MRI.

In my personal experience as a medical professional, I have encountered situations where patients have required both a Bravo reflux test and an MRI study. In such cases, careful planning and coordination between the gastroenterologist and the radiologist are crucial to ensure patient safety. The Bravo capsule can be removed prior to the MRI, and if necessary, reinserted after the imaging study.

The presence of a small magnet in the Bravo capsule prohibits patients from undergoing an MRI study within 30 days of the reflux test. The magnetic field of an MRI machine can cause the capsule to move or dislodge, leading to inaccurate readings or potential harm to the patient. Patient safety should always be the top priority, and alternative imaging modalities can be considered if an MRI is necessary during this 30-day period.