Stretta therapy is a minimally invasive procedure for patients who suffer from chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
What are the benefits of Stretta therapy?
If you suffer from chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Stretta therapy provides a safe and effective alternative to conventional surgery. As a day case procedure, recovery is quick and the treatment is minimally invasive.
What happens during Stretta therapy?
Preparing for Stretta therapy
Before you come into hospital for your treatment, you will be asked questions about your health by one of our nurses. Further ‘pre-assessment’ questions may be asked over the phone, or you might be asked to come into the hospital for some simple tests, such as a blood test or a test on the heart called an ECG (Electrocardiogram).
Please let us know if you are taking any regular or herbal medication. Be sure to bring your medication with you on the day of your treatment in the original containers. If you do take prescribed medicine on a regular basis, we will give you specific advice about continuing your medication, and what to do on the morning of your treatment.
If you are a diabetic you’ll be given instructions about your medication on the day of surgery and told when to stop eating and drinking.
It’s particularly vital you tell us if you are taking any type of blood-thinning medication (anticoagulant). Medication of this kind can make your blood clot more slowly. We need to ensure your blood is clotting normally before we operate.
During Stretta therapy
Stretta therapy is performed using an endoscope and a Stretta radiofrequency catheter (a thin catheter with a balloon at the end). No incisions, stitches or implants are required. You’ll be given a sedation or anaesthetic. The endoscope is then placed through your mouth into the oesophagus.
The aim of Stretta therapy is to strengthen the LES (lower oesophagal sphincter muscle) to reduce the occurrence and severity of acid reflux. To achieve this, a catheter is guided through the endoscope. Once in position, the balloon is inflated, exposing sharp probes that release radio frequency energy into the LES and upper stomach. The energy creates thermal lesions on the targeted areas. When these lesions heal, the LES muscles strengthen reducing the possibility of stomach acid reflux.
The treatment usually causes some discomfort but should not be painful and takes less than 1 hour to perform.
Recovery from Stretta therapy
You’ll be able to go home a few hours after EIRT (STRETTA) once you’ve recovered from the anaesthetic or sedation. Remember to arrange for somebody to take you home. After treatment, you may feel an overall tenderness in the upper abdomen. This is perfectly normal and usually subsides within 3-5 days. Pain medication is not normally prescribed. You should be able to resume normal daily activities the day after the procedure. You’ll be on a liquid diet for 3 weeks. After this, you can return to a normal diet but must take oral antacids for 6 weeks.
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