procedure to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
has received positive results in a study conducted by Dr.
William O. Richards, Professor of Surgery and Director of
Laparoendoscopic Surgery at Vanderbilt University.
System procedure gives doctors the tools to perform a minimally
invasive, outpatient procedure in which precisely controlled
radiofrequency energy is used to create thermal lesions in
the muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter. When the lesions
heal, the function of the sphincter is improved, resulting
in an often dramatic reduction in GERD symptoms.
is inserted in the patient's throat to the junction of the
esophagus and stomach and a balloon is inflated and needle
electrodes are deployed from a basket surrounding the balloon
into the tissue. Radiofrequency energy is directed from the
control module through the electrodes to create thermal lesions
in the vicinity of the lower esophageal sphincter. General
anesthesia is not required for the procedure.
A total of 41 patients were treated with the Stretta procedure
in Richard's study. Nearly all of the patients had symptoms
of GERD that were severe enough to require at least twice
daily proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication to alleviate
at a meeting of the 8th World Congress of Surgery and Society
of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons in New York
City that esophageal acid exposure and symptoms of heartburn
and regurgitation were reduced to a statistically significant
degree after the Stretta procedure. Following the procedure,
27 of the 41 patients no longer needed any PPI medication
and 13 of the remaining 14 patients required less medication.
Stretta procedure fills a very important need in the management
of GERD, significantly improving acid exposure and medication
use in the majority of patients I have treated," said
Medical Week staff,
week of April 7, 2002