Different treatment options for acid reflux
January 21, 2015
By Ralph W. Aye, MD, FACS
Thoracic and Esophageal Surgeon
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common disorder of the upper gastrointestinal track, affecting nearly 40% of the American population. Antisecretory medications such as omeprazole are the mainstay of treatment, but 40% of patients have incomplete control of symptoms. While surgical repair (fundoplication) is highly effective, only 1% of patients have an operation, leaving a large group of individuals incompletely treated.
The Stretta procedure is another option to treat GERD. Stretta is an entirely endoscopic outpatient treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease which uses radiofrequency energy delivered through small pins inserted into the lower esophageal sphincter (LES, the valve between the esophagus and stomach). This has the effect of increasing the strength and thickness of the LES, thereby decreasing reflux of acid and digestive enzymes into the esophagus. For most patients, this means eliminating or greatly reducing symptoms and the need for medication. Over 20,000 patients have been treated, and long-term studies of up to 10 years show a very high satisfaction level, with up to 75% of patients being able to completely discontinue medication.
The procedure is intended for patients with clinically proven gastroesophageal reflux and a small (< 2 cm) to absent hiatal hernia. Swedish’s experience with Stretta dates back more than 15 years. The procedure has recently been reintroduced since Mederi Therapeutics acquired the technology and is available to qualified individuals. For more information, talk to your health care provider, or call our office at 206-215-6800.