New non-surgical treatment for acid reflux at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital

Dr. Mazin Rasool Aljabiri.

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Occasional heartburn and acid reflux are considered normal, but if these symptoms are present twice a week or more, it could be an indication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. Symptoms can range from heartburn to an acid feeling in the throat known as reflux, gas and bloating, trouble sleeping and a persistent cough. GERD treatment options can range from acid-reducing medications to anti-reflux surgery.

Dr Mazin Rasool Aljabiri-HOD, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Interventional Endoscopists and Accredited Bowel Cancer Screener (RCP-UK) says we see around 25%-40% of our patients with reflux not responding to treatment or with recurring symptoms during the day or night. Recently, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce acid production in the stomach, have been considered the treatment of choice for those patients with severe reflux or unresponsive to other medications, but l The effect of PPIs does not last long.

Dr. Mazin adds, “More than 30% of patients have a suboptimal response or no response to PPIs and become non-compliant. Research found that these patients had valve laxity, called the gastroesophageal valve. A gastroesophageal valve is an anatomical abnormality, which cannot be corrected with medication, and surgery is the only option.

This has led to the interest in initiating, researching and organizing a non-invasive, safe, effective endoscopic therapeutic alternative, relieving recurrent reflux and enabling patients to successfully manage their symptoms.

In the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Digestive Diseases and Weight Management Department at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, a new non-surgical option for the treatment of these symptoms is now available. Incisionless Transoral Fundoplication, or FIT, is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment that treats GERD at its source. Using the EsophyX device, the technology is able to restore our body’s natural protection against reflux.

TIF is a good solution for adults with moderate to severe GERD who experience heartburn symptoms even when taking medication daily. This procedure has many benefits, including controlling troublesome symptoms and stopping daily heartburn medications.

The FIT procedure is FDA approved and covered by most insurance companies. This innovative procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and lasts approximately one hour; patients tend to recover faster without the scars associated with surgery. FIT is considered a long-term treatment for chronic acid reflux.

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