The Stretta Procedure
When symptoms of acid reflux persist despite standard treatments, Stretta is an alternative option to invasive surgery. The Stretta procedure is a unique and effective therapy, developed specifically to treat the underlying root cause of heartburn and acid reflux.
The treatment involves administration of precisely monitored and measured amounts of radiofrequency energy during a simple endoscopic procedure which allows rapid recovery without the need for surgical intervention. Studies show that Stretta has a patient satisfaction rating of 93%.
During the 45-minute outpatient procedure, the patient is sedated and the upper endoscopy is performed to take exact measurements of the distance from the mouth to the sphincter muscle located between the stomach and the oesophagus.
After measuring the distance, a specially designed catheter is passed through the mouth into the oesophagus and is positioned at the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LOS) muscle, near the stomach.
Once the catheter is located at the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus, the balloon is inflated and four small needles are placed into the muscle of the LOS, which deliver controlled doses of radiofrequency energy at multiple levels, warming the tissue to 85° Celcius (185° Fahrenheit).
Several areas in the region of the LOS and stomach are treated which stimulates the muscle to grow over time. There are no visible cuts or scars as a result of the procedure. Following the treatment, the muscle becomes thicker, the barrier function is improved and reflux symptoms such as acid and bile are prevented.
Patients typically go home 1 - 2 hours after the procedure. Most patients are able to return to work and their normal activities the day after their treatment so there is minimal interruption to everyday life.
Is Stretta the right treatment for me?
The Stretta treatment is suitable for patients who do not respond completely to PPIs, have drug interactions with or are intolerant of PPIs and are concerned about side-effects of long-term PPI use.
Stretta is an effective alternative for patients who want to avoid anti-reflux surgery, experience non-erosive reflux (NERD) and have respiratory GORD symptoms such as cough and asthma. Patients who would benefit from Stretta treatment have recurring reflux after anti-reflux surgery and suffer from GORD after bariatric surgery.