Medical Q&As

Stretta procedure - describe?

Can you tell me if the stretta procedure is available in Ireland as I suffer from chronic heartburn and have to take proton pump inhibitors on a regular basis?

The stretta procedure is a relatively new procedure and to the best of my knowledge it is not available in Ireland. It is a treatment for GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux). The patient is put asleep for the procedure and the doctor performs an endoscopy, which means he passes a special scope down the oesophagus so that he can establish the degree of inflammation that is present in the lower end of the oesophagus or gullet. A special device is then passed down the gullet and positioned at the junction between the oesophagus and stomach. Electrodes are placed into the surrounding tissues and the area around the electrodes is coagulated. The device monitors temperature readings to ensure safety and precise control during the procedure. This procedure is repeated at several points along the lower end of the oesophagus. Over the subsequent weeks the coagulated tissue shrinks increasing the resistance in the lower oesophagus to reflux of gastric acid. The procedure is still undergoing evaluation and has only been presented for discussion at medical conferences within the past couple of years. We have no information about its long-term benefits or safety.