Healthline: Stretta offers relief from GERD - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Healthline: Stretta offers relief from GERD

The Stretta procedure applies radiofrequency waves to stimulate the muscle where the esophagus meets the stomach (Source: Mederi Therapeutics) The Stretta procedure applies radiofrequency waves to stimulate the muscle where the esophagus meets the stomach (Source: Mederi Therapeutics)
Patients Keri Mayeaux (L) and Jacqueline Allen talk with Dr. Elizabeth Bollinger (Source: WAFB) Patients Keri Mayeaux (L) and Jacqueline Allen talk with Dr. Elizabeth Bollinger (Source: WAFB)
GONZALES, LA (WAFB) -

We all experience occasional heartburn, but when it happens every day there may be a bigger problem. Some south Louisiana patients swear by a procedure called Stretta for relief from chronic heartburn.
 
Keri Mayeaux has been dealing with the pain of acid reflux for the last ten years. It’s been seven for Jacqueline Allen. Both women described a constant burning sensation in their esophagus and trouble sleeping. The triggers are hard to avoid.
 
“It was 24/7, and it’s miserable,” Allen said. “I shouldn’t have chocolate, coffee, anything spicy, no alcohol. Cereal and salads with no dressing was all I could eat.”
 
“I was taking Prevacid in the morning, Protonix at night, and then over-the-counter during the day, and still had heartburn,” Mayeaux explained. “Now I’m screaming at the rooftops to tell people about the procedure.”
 
There’s growing suspicion that many of those common acid-reducers known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) could lead to more serious problems. They include Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, and Nexium, and they work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.
 
Studies have linked long-term, daily use of PPIs to an increased risk for dementia, heart attack, kidney disease, osteoporosis, vitamin deficiencies, and infection. The studies, however, are observational and cannot determine the cause for the findings. Some point to the fact that GERD patients are more likely to be overweight or obese, smokers, and on several medications at once.
 
“People are really coming in wanting to get off those medicines, and Stretta is a good option,” said gastroenterologist Dr. Elizabeth Bollinger.

There's no cutting and only mild sedation in this outpatient procedure. The doctor uses a scope to reach the muscle where the esophagus meets the stomach. Radiofrequency waves are applied to that muscle, which stimulates it to grow. The process only takes about 30 minutes, and patients go home the same day.

“Over time – three months, six months – that  muscle gets thicker and stronger and then does its job to keep everything in the stomach,” Bollinger explained.

She said the positive effects of Stretta have been shown to last 10-15 years in many patients, helping them kick their daily meds and live normal lives.

“It's just been phenomenal,” said Mayeax, who had the surgery six weeks ago. “I've been eaten and drinking everything that I could possibly try just to see.”
 
It’s been four months for Allen, who said she’s now able to sleep much better.

“Medication really wasn’t helping anymore. I just wanted relief, and I just didn’t think I would ever find any,” she said.

Stretta has been so successful at St. Elizabeth hospital in Gonzales that Dr. Rahil Shah is also now offering the procedure. The cost is around $4,000, but
Stretta is covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid.
 
Symptoms of GERD can often be eased through diet and exercise.
 
H2 blockers also reduce stomach acid and provide relief for occasional heartburn. They include Pepcid, Zantac, and Tagamet.

CLICK HERE for more information, or call St. Elizabeth physicians at (225) 743-2545.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    1 dead, NWS issues tornado warnings for ETX

    1 dead, NWS issues tornado warnings for ETX

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:07 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:07:50 GMT

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>

    Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Saturday for multiple East Texas counties.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly