Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a condition that occurs when the sphincter valve at the top opening of the stomach loses its ability to properly regulate the passage of food and liquids. As a result, stomach acid can pass the sphincter muscle and enter the esophagus, causing heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.
There are several treatments available for GERD that involve an endoscopic evaluation of the esophagus. During an endoscopic procedure, your surgeon will place a tiny camera on the end of a tube-like instrument which is then lowered into the esophagus to allow surgeons to surgically tighten the sphincter muscle.
Endoscopic suturing is one such treatment. Surgeons use a device that is much like a minuscule sewing machine which is affixed to an endoscope. The surgeon then uses this device to sew folds into the stomach at the esophagus opening. These folds help strengthen the sphincter. Endoscopic suturing is a popular alternative to laparoscopic surgery which is performed through the entrance of several tiny holes made in the abdomen.
Another endoscopic treatment is called the Stretta procedure. With this procedure a tiny balloon is released from the end of the endoscope. The balloon is inflated and as it inflates four tiny electrodes are inserted around the esophagus and stomach junction. Radio frequency waves are then sent through these electrodes which cause scar tissue to build-up, narrowing the opening of the esophagus and thereby preventing reflux.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a serious condition that if left untreated, can cause esophageal cancer and other more serious complications. If you suffer from regular heartburn then talk with your doctor in Dallas or Ft. Worth and make sure that you get the proper treatment.