Stretta Procedure

The Stretta procedure is a non-surgical treatment path for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).  It is a minimally invasive procedure which is conducted via endoscopy.

GORD is a condition which is caused by the weakness of the muscle, that creates a 'barrier' between the oesophagus and the stomach, leading to the refluxing of stomach acid up into the oesophagus. Acid reflux can cause symptoms such as heartburn and difficulty swallowing.

STRETTA is an outpatient procedure performed under general anaesthesia, which is considered as an alternative to conventional surgery for chronic GORD sufferers who have not responded to medication.

The procedure itself - which is expected to take between 30-45 minutes - involves the passing of the STRETTA catheter through the mouth. The catheter - which has a unique flexible design - is then positioned in the oesophagus at the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS). The catheter serves to place four tiny needles into the LOS muscle in order to transfer radiofrequency energy. This process can be repeated in several areas of the LOS muscle, as well as the top of the stomach. These areas are divided into six treatment levels.

During the Stretta procedure, the remodelling of the LOS tissue occurred with muscle hypertrophy. This can lead to an improvement in the symptoms associated with GORD and ultimately aims to negate or reduce the need for antacid medication.

The Stretta Procedure leaves no visible marks or cuts, and patients are usually able to return home one to two hours after the procedure. Patients can typically return to normal activities, including work and forms of exercise, the day after the procedure.

What are the advantages of a Gastric Bypass?

Decrease the symptoms of GORD significantly.
- Potentially eliminate the need to take GORD symptoms.
- Reduce acid exposure.
- Improve the quality of life for GORD sufferers.
- Usually no need to stay in hospital overnight.
- A quick recovery time.
- No cosmetic effect from the procedure, such as marks or scars.
- Low risk of complications from the procedure.
- In case of persistent acid reflux a fundoplication can be performed with no increased risks.
- A study published in the Surgical Endoscopy showed that 86 per cent of patients who underwent the Stretta procedure did not need to take any more medications for GORD in the ten years following the procedure

Think about the following prior to the procedure

- Always try to give your doctor an accurate record of your health history prior to the procedure, including details of all the medications which you have been prescribed.
- Fasting is a typical element of preparing for the Stretta procedure, because of its endoscopic nature. You will typically be asked to refrain from eating or drinking
for several hours on the day of the procedure.
- You should plan the day of the procedure carefully, recognising that you might not be able to attend work following the procedure, or drive home from the hospital

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