GERD: Incisionless endoscopic treatment now available

Breaking news in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): NYP/Columbia now offers an incisionless alternative to continuous medications or open surgical procedures for patients suffering from severe reflux disease.

SRS Endoscopic System for Treatment of GERD
Length: 1:54

Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter opens spontaneously or does not close properly, and stomach contents rise up into the esophagus, causing irritation, acid reflux, heartburn and potentially other severe conditions. The incidence of GERD has risen in direct proportion to the obesity epidemic in the U.S., and now affects 7-10% of Americans on a daily basis. GERD is usually treated with acid-reducing medications, which help to alleviate symptoms but do not cure the disease. Historically, major surgery called fundoplication was recommended for patients who were not responding to medications.

Fundoplication can eliminate reflux and provide relief of GERD-associated symptoms. Currently, fundoplication is performed surgically, either through one large incision in the abdomen ("open") or through several small incisions ("laparoscopic").

Now, a new incisionless procedure allows the performance of fundoplication through the mouth, without any abdominal incisions — no scalpels, no stitches and no scars. This advance was made possible by the development of an innovative system combining a surgical stapler, ultrasonic sights for accurate positioning, and a miniaturized video camera, all in a single instrument.

According to Marc Bessler, MD, Chief, Division of Minimal Access and Bariatric Surgery, "This innovation represents the next step in the progression of surgical options. The shift from open surgery to laparoscopic surgery was a huge advance during the 1990's, and the trend toward incisionless surgery represents the next major revolution in surgical care. The incisionless procedure for GERD gives patients an even faster recovery and fewer complications than the laparoscopic approach, and we are very pleased to be able to offer patients this option."

Step by step illustration of incisionless trans-oral treatment for GERD.