Endoscopic Treatment of Reflux

Fundoplication method / What is Reflux?

Gastroesophagel Reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that affects almost 25% of people. It is commonly manifested by complaints of sore throat, epigastric burn and gastric acid travelling up towards the throat. Basically, the condition occurs when the sphincter consisting of bundle of muscles between esophagus and stomach is weak and gastric acid flows back into the esophagus.

GERD is a chronic disease. Generally, acid-suppressing drugs alleviate the complaints. However, complaints recur in most of the patients after medication therapy is stopped.

Why Endoscopic Fundoplication?

Permanent treatment of GERD is narrowing and strengthening the loose sphincter and making it functional. Through this method, sphincter is endoscopically stitched and strengthened. No incision is made. A special endoscope is inserted into the mouth and intact gastric tissue is sutured to the loose area at the distal segment of the esophagus with surgical “stapler”. In this way, no acid leakage develops.

Who are candidate for endoscopic fundoplication?

Patients who are older than 18 and need to use medication constantly and whose loose sphincter is measured below 3 cm (without hiatal hernia) are candidate for this treatment.

How is endoscopic fundoplication performed?

The procedure is carried out under general analgesia at endoscopy room. The procedure lasts about 60 to 90 minutes. It is necessary to apply liquid diet in postoperative period and consume soft foods until complete recovery is achieved. The patient can be switched to normal diet and resume daily life activities within a few days. The patient feels no pain during the procedure as anesthetic agent is administered. Mild abdominal pain or sore throat may persist for 2-3 days afterwards.

What is the success rate of endoscopic fundoplication?

80% of the patients who have used acid-suppressing drugs in postoperative period have discontinued using these drugs in the first year.
When 4-year follow-up has been made for these patients, it is observed that 75% of them have continued their life without using any drug.
72-78 percent success rate is achieved without requiring surgical procedure.
The procedure has FDA and C certificates and has been performed for thousands of patients all around the world for 8 years. The procedure can be carried out by only specially trained Gastroenterologists.

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