Patients treated for gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) using the endoscopic Plicator procedure show long-term benefits in reducing reflux disease symptoms with no need for long-term prescription antacids, according to a study led by doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
The majority of patients had complete relief of acid reflux symptoms without the need for prescription proton pump inhibitors and only rare use of antacids according to Douglas Pleskow, MD, the study’s principal investigator.
The findings, appearing in the online edition of the journal Surgical Endoscopy, demonstrate a sustained reduction in GERD symptoms and medication use three years post-procedure. GERD is a condition in which the acidic liquid content of the stomach is regurgitated, causing damage in the lining of the esophagus.
Pleskow says patients suffering from GERD can feel worse than those suffering from depression, heart attacks and even diabetes. “It affects their productivity, their employment so it’s very important to help control gastro esophageal reflux disease.”
The treatment, called endoscopic plication, uses a device called the Plicator to restore the anti-reflux barrier, “a fold over the top part of the stomach that acts to prevent acid and other stomach contents from going up into the esophagus which then reduces symptoms,” says Pleskow.
The study involved 29 patients with chronic heartburn who required daily maintenance of their symptoms with medication. Patients were treated at five sites, each receiving plication treatment. They were then evaluated for GERD symptoms and medication use 12 and 36 months after treatment.
All but one of the 29 patients in the study required daily proton pump therapy prior to the procedure. The other patient was on high dose histamine ?2 antagonist therapy. Over half the medication dependant patients remained off the daily treatment at the 36 month follow-up and 50 percent were able to stop medication completely.