GERD is a condition where food and liquids from the stomach leak into the esophagus due to weak muscles. It causes heartburn, burping, nausea, sour taste in the mouth and more. Suffering from GERD often disrupts your daily routine. When lifestyle changes and medications do not work, the good news is there are several new minimally invasive treatments or surgeries available for GERD.
Stretta is an outpatient procedure for GERD that takes about one hour. After a few days the patient returns to normal activities. It has no stitches, implants, or incisions. The patient is sedated during the procedure and a specialist inserts a tube down the throat. It will connect to the muscles that connect the throat to the stomach.
The device is made up of a flexible cather with balloon basket assembly with a nickel titanium needle that delivers radio frequency energy to the esphospgal wall and LES area. The device releases water so there is no heat damage to the body. It strengthens the weakened muscles so there is less occurrence of acid reflux. It is said to improve symptoms for up to 10 years and reduce the need to take medications.
The electrode at the end of device heats the esophageal tissue and creates tiny cuts. It forms scar tissue that blocks nerves that cause reflux. This procedure also strengthens the muscle too.
Other Non-Invasive Treatments
GERDsymptoms that are not treatable by diet changes and medications are often the reason patients want to try minimally invasive surgeries or treatments. Below are a few other types.
TIF is known as Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, and it creates a barrier between the stomach and esophagus. The barrier helps prevent GERD symptoms. It does not require any incision. A device called the EsophyX is inserted into the mouth that goes down the throat to the esophagus. The treatment creates a fold in the esophagus that forms a new valve. The device has a small camera and surgical device attached.
The patient is sedated, as this is still a form of surgery. The device is directed to the junction of the esophagus and stomach. The surgeon uses plastic sutures to lengthen and make stronger the junction where the esophagus and stomach meet. This procedure takes less than an hour but requires an overnight hospital stay. Recovery time is relatively short.
LINX Surgery uses a special device called a linx. It is a ring that is made of very small titanium beads that are inserted around the lower esophagus sphincter. It is minimally invasive surgery that requires sedation. The doctor uses a larscopty a device that is inserted into the abdomen using very small incisions. To select the right size linx, the eshpogus must be measured. It is measured using a tool that resembles a necklace around the esophagus tube at LES and measuring the diameter.
After that the measurement device is removed and the linx device is implanted. It is a less invasive form of acid reflux surgery, and often patients return home the same day or next day. Recovery time is much faster than traditional surgery. This procedure takes less than an hour.
Minimally invasive forms of surgery for GERD are designed for patients where lifestyle changes or medications do not work. They are also for patients that want to stop medications as a way of management. When symptoms disrupt your daily routine, the good news is there is acid reflux surgery that is minimally invasive that works.
Written by: Joan Russell