Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a complex illness. The most common GERD patient refluxes acid. However, many patients reflux something other than acid (non-erosive GERD/NERD), and many have respiratory symptoms that consist of wheezing, chronic cough or hoarseness.
Stretta therapy has been shown to improve all of these symptoms of reflux. Stretta therapy involves low-temperature radiofrequency (RF) energy delivered to the muscle of the LES and Gastric Cardia in an out-patient setting. This has been shown to remodel the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), improve LES function, and decrease transient relaxations of this muscle, which is a known cause of GERD.
Mark Noar, MD, Director of Endoscopic Microsurgery Associates in Towson, Maryland is the most experienced Stretta practitioner, having performed over 2,000 cases. Dr. Noar has authored several clinical studies on Stretta. “NERD is a form of GERD or gastrointestinal reflux disease in which there is no gross damage to the esophageal tissue such as ulcers or erosions,” states Dr. Noar. “None the less, NERD sufferers may have the same degree and intensity of symptoms as in other more damaging types of GERD. In the case of NERD, the symptoms are still caused by the refluxing of stomach contents into the esophagus or larynx. These gastric contents may be strongly acidic, weakly acidic, weakly basic or even strongly basic, like bile. The level of symptoms noticed by the patient is dependent on each individuals’ level of sensitivity to pH. This makes the generalization of treatment for GERD difficult, because there is no single medication that can treat all the different causes of the disease. The Stretta procedure, however, is ideal for all types of GERD/NERD, since the technology is ‘an equal opportunity treatment’, with positive physiological effects that equally impact all causes or forms of GERD, including NERD, erosive GERD and respiratory symptoms of GERD. The reason for this is that it limits the frequency and amount of reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.”
Mark Noar, MD
Endoscopic Microsurgery Associates