Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surgeons offering new procedure for acid reflux, GERD

Date:
December 1, 2009
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
Surgeons are now offering patients an incisionless alternative to laparoscopic and traditional surgery for treatment of acid reflux or GERD.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) surgeons are now offering patients an incisionless alternative to laparoscopic and traditional surgery for treatment of acid reflux or GERD.

Using the new procedure known as EsophyX TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundaplication), surgeons can repair or reconstruct the valve between the esophagus and stomach, effectively stopping GERD. BMC is the only hospital in New England offering this new treatment.

GERD, also referred to as chronic heartburn, is reflux and regurgitation of the contents of the stomach into the esophagus that is frequent and severe enough to impact daily life and may even damage the esophagus. It is one of the most common diseases, with more than 60 million Americans experiencing symptoms at least once a month. Approximately 14 million Americans have GERD so frequent and severe that they experience symptoms every day.

Normally, after swallowing, a valve between the esophagus and stomach opens to allow food to pass into the stomach, then closes to prevent reflux of the food back into the esophagus. With GERD, this valve is weakened or absent, allowing the acidic digestive juices from the stomach to flow back (or reflux) into the esophagus. Using the EsophyX, BMC surgeons are able to pass surgical instruments together with an endoscope through a patient's mouth and tighten or repair the weakened valve without making any incisions into the skin.

"Compared to laparoscopic or traditional surgery, patients treated via the endoscope have required less anesthesia and experienced less complication rates, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery, reduced patient discomfort, and no need for incisions," said Miguel Burch, MD, Co-Director of Esophageal and Acid Reflux Disorders, Center for Digestive Disorders at BMC. "Patients are typically able to return home and to normal activities the day following the procedure," he added.

Complications associated with untreated GERD are well documented and can have a significant impact on quality of life and, in extreme cases, life expectancy. Esophagitis can quickly become a chronic condition, and if the damage is severe, esophageal ulcers can form. If left untreated, a potentially premalignant condition, Barrett's esophagus, can develop and in a small percentage of patients this can progress to esophageal cancer.

"While over-the-counter medications may alleviate the symptoms, by decreasing production of stomach acid, they don't solve the anatomical problem and reflux (without acid) can still continue causing injury but without symptoms to warn the patient," said Hiran Fernando, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon and director of minimally invasive thoracic surgery at BMC who performs the procedure jointly with Burch. "For patients who are dissatisfied with pharmaceutical therapies and are concerned about the long-term effects of over-the counter medications, this procedure may be the answer," added Fernando.

According to the BMC surgeons, anatomical correction is key to long-term prevention of GERD and disease progression. Unfortunately, they say even laparoscopic surgical repair can be invasive and may be associated with side effects like gas bloat and difficulty swallowing. For this reason, less than one percent of GERD patients currently choose invasive surgical therapy to treat their condition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Surgeons offering new procedure for acid reflux, GERD." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026103846.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2009, December 1). Surgeons offering new procedure for acid reflux, GERD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026103846.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Surgeons offering new procedure for acid reflux, GERD." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091026103846.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins