Royal Liverpool University Hospital Is Now Offering Minimally Invasive Stretta® Therapy for NHS Patients Suffering from Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease

Dr Howard Smart, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital is now performing Stretta®, a safe and effective minimally invasive treatment for NHS patients suffering from Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD). The Stretta® Therapy is a nonsurgical treatment for chronic GORD patients not responding to medications and wishing to avoid surgery. GORD is a common condition which causes the stomach acid to leak up into the oesophagus as a result of weakened muscle ring located at the bottom of the oesophagus. Affecting many patients in the UK, the condition causes symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux and an unpleasant taste in the back of the mouth.

During the 45-minute outpatient Stretta® procedure, the patient is given a short anaesthetic and a special catheter is passed through the mouth into the gullet. The device delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy to strengthen and improve the function of the valve, known as the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), which prevents regurgitation or reflux. The NICEapproved procedure does not involve any cuts or scars and patients are allowed to go home after 1-2 hours and return to work the day after the treatment.

Dr Howard Smart, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: “The Stretta® procedure has been used extensively in Europe and North America to improve patient’s GORD symptoms and quality of life. Long term follow up reveals that after 8 to 10 years symptom improvement is maintained and approximately two-thirds of patients require no regular medication for their condition. Stretta increases the treatment options available for patients with GORD, filling the gap between tablets and surgery."