The millions of people who suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD, will soon have a new treatment option to consider.
The Mayo Clinic in Florida will be among the first to offer the recently FDA approved treatment device. They were one of only 14 participating health centers who ran clinical trials for the new device, and plan to offer this treatment immediately.
Dr. C. Daniel Smith of the Surgery Department at Mayo Clinic says, "Mayo has been a leader in the treatment of esophageal diseases, especially GERD, and we are pleased to be offering this new treatment to our patients immediately."
GERD, a health problem where food or liquid in the stomach channels back into the esophagus, is commonly treated with drugs or with surgery.
Surgical treatment has been aimed at fixing the defective ring of muscle between the stomach and the esophagus that allows the food or liquid back up.
But many are hesitant to commit to a surgical procedure, even when drugs are not working to relieve their GERD.
Dr. Smith offers encouragement for those people saying, "The new system will offer a long-needed treatment option for a large group of underserved patients."
That new system involves the implantation of a magnetic device around the defective ring of muscle in a minimally invasive procedure.
The magnetic device is designed to be strong enough to disallow the backflow of any food or liquid, but flexible enough to let any and all food travel from the esophagus to the stomach.
Dr. Smith, who performs hundreds of GERD associated surgeries a year, expresses his excitement about the new method saying, "I expect this device to be a game changer for the treatment of GERD in select patients who have failed management with drugs."
Another member of the Mayo Clinic staff Dr. Ken DeVault also supports the new GERD treatment procedure.
He says, "I have many patients who are searching for something more than medication for their reflux, but have been hesitant to undergo a traditional reflux surgery."
Both Dr. Smith and Dr. DeVault participated in the development of the device as well as the actual research study.
Contact a gastroenterologist for more information.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.