Clinical Studies Conclude Stretta is Safe and Effective

Stretta results are long-lasting, proven effective from 4-10 years

Stretta therapy provides relief to patients with acid reflux

In Huntington alone, approximately one in three people suffer from some form of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),” said Nihar Shah, MD, a fellowship-trained gastroenterologist at Cabell Huntington Hospital. “Some of these individuals are taking medication more than two times a day to help control their acid reflux. That can lead to other, more serious problems.”

GERD, also known as severe, persistent heartburn or acid reflux, is a digestive disorder that affects the muscle between the esophagus and stomach. The contents of the stomach flow back or return up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation and discomfort.

     “Often, a patient can be relieved of the symptoms of GERD through lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce the amount of reflux causing damage to the lining of the esophagus,” Shah explained. “There are also over-the-counter or prescription options that can help too.”

     But according to Shah, taking too much medication over time can lead to other long-term side effects.

     “Long-term use of any medication raises safety concerns. The long-term use of medications for acid reflux have been linked to decreased vitamin/mineral absorption, increased risk of bone fractures, pneumonia and some infections. Once we determine that a patient has a high level of GERD and medication is not affective, we then can offer other options,” he explained.

     According to Shah, the only options currently available for chronic symptoms of GERD are long-term use of mediations or invasive surgery. Now, a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure is available that provides symptom relief for up to 10 years.

     “Stretta therapy does not require incisions, stitches or implants,” Shah explained. “The patient is sedated and a flexible catheter is inserted down the esophagus and near the stomach. It delivers radiofrequency energy to the muscle tissue which will cause it to strengthen over the next two to three months. This tightened junction then prevents reflux.”

     The entire procedure lasts less than an hour and patients can return to normal activity within 24 hours with little to no discomfort.

     “Clinical trials have proven that this procedure has the lowest complication rate of any non-medical treatment for GERD and provides symptom relief for several years,” Shah said.

     Dr. Shah is now offering Stretta therapy at Cabell Huntington Hospital. To make an appointment with him please call 304.691.1000.

     Stretta is by far the most widely studied minimally invasive treatment option for GERD – and has been proven safe and effective in more than 37 clinical studies and 18,000 procedures. Studies show that patients experience significant and lasting symptom relief from 4-10 years, without the higher complication rates of surgery, or the higher costs.

     Clinical studies conclude Stretta is safe and effective showing:

• Up to 93% patient satisfaction

• 86% of patients remained off daily GERD medications at four years

• 64% of patients remained off daily GERD medications at 10 years

• Has been proven effective in patients with already altered anatomy

     – GERD after bariatric procedures

• Improved GERD symptom scores

• Improved quality of Life

• Reduced acid exposure

• Regression of esophagitis

• An improvement in extra-esophageal symptoms of GERD

     – Coughing, asthma, hoarseness, respiratory and laryngeal symptoms

• A significant reduction in the amount of reflux episodes

• The lowest complication rate of any non-medical treatment for GERD

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