Over 15 million Americans suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. While many patients manage their condition by watching what they eat and popping over-the-counter medications, a new technology can help relieve the burn for good.
Allen Ahmed, 36, relied on medication for years to control his GERD.
“It was a lot of pain with the acid reflux, very uncomfortable,” Ahmed said. “I would get a lot of chest pain and I would throw up a lot.”
Patients like Ahmed deal with a variety of symptoms including:
- Burning in the chest or throat
- A sour taste in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough or hoarseness
- Regurgitation of food
When over-the-counter medications didn’t work for Ahmed, his doctor suggested he try a new alternative therapy called Stretta.
“It's a non-surgical, minimally invasive, endoscopically-based procedure where there is a treatment directed at the lower esophagus and the upper part of the stomach to try to reduce the reflux tendencies through various mechanisms,” said Dr. Aaron Tokayer, a gastroenterologist who treated Ahmed at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.
During the procedure, Tokayer placed a catheter through Ahmed’s mouth and into the valve between the stomach and the esophagus. The technology delivers radio frequency energy to the muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter, remodeling the tissue.
“The Stretta procedure is a technique to reduce reflux tendencies in those people, (and is) associated with improved sense of comfort, sense of well-being, better function, less medications or no medications required in the future after the procedure is done,” said Tokayer.
A recent study published in Gastroenterology Research and Practice examined the long-term efficacy of the Stretta procedure in GERD patients and found that it may be a more desirable treatment than either medication or surgery.
For Ahmed, that was exactly the case.
“I felt a little pain here for a few days and it was gone and I started feeling better,” said Ahmed. “I just had wings last night – they were delicious.”
For more information, visit Stretta-Therapy.com.