Stretta For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
When patients suffer from GERD, the chronic form of acid reflux, they risk a host of long-term effects, which can include, in extreme cases, a risk of esophageal cancer. Typically, the first course of action is lifestyle change with a course of medication. Medications work by either neutralizing stomach acid (antacids), or inhibiting the secretion of stomach acid altogether (Proton Pump Inhibitors, PPIs). The pharmacological route is effective for some patients, however sometimes significant side effects combined with declining long-term effectiveness is always a consideration. Further, the medication option only treats the symptoms of GERD and not the root cause.
For those patients that have not seen improvement with medication or are not happy with the side effects, as well as those who are not interested in the more invasive fundoplication option, Stretta may be a good option. This minimally invasive, outpatient endoscopic system requires approximately one hour of procedure time and patients may return to normal activities in just a couple to a few days.
This Stretta system has proven to be safe and effective, lasting anywhere from 4 to 10 years while avoiding many of the side-effects of surgery and medication. Further, the Stretta procedure is an effective option for those that are no longer receiving relief from a Nissen Fundoplication procedure.
How Stretta Works
By using low-level radiofrequency (RF) waves, the Stretta device remodels and stimulates the growth of muscle tissue at the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. The LES serves as the one-way valve between the esophagus and stomach. This added muscle mass reconstitutes the valve, helping to normalize the LES’s function and keeping stomach acid out of the esophagus.
Radio frequency, RF, energy is used successfully in a wide range of applications including cardiology, urology and more. When employed appropriately, it can be very effective, long-lasting and safe. As a result, many clinical studies have shown the Stretta system to be an effective option for most patients suffering from chronic acid reflux.
What Are The Next Steps?
The most important first step toward a solution for your GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease is to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians. During this consultation, you will learn more about the various options that are currently available to treat this disorder. You and your doctor will be able to decide on the most appropriate treatment plan.