Most people have experienced heartburn, but some people deal with a more frequent, severe heartburn, commonly known as GERD. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive condition in which acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus creating a burning sensation, often referred to as heartburn. GERD can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. Asthma, ulcers in the esophagus or swallowing difficulties due to narrowing of the esophagus may develop. Also, the risk of developing esophageal cancer is greater due to the conditions of GERD.
Generally anti-reflux medications are used to minimize the symptoms of GERD, but now there is new technology which eliminates the symptoms completely. BARD Endoscopic Suturing System (BESS) is a non-invasive procedure which involves suturing tissue into pleats at the end of the esophagus to reduce the size of the esophagus opening which will prevent reflux from occurring.
An endoscopic tube with a built-in camera is placed down the throat to see the inside of the esophagus. At the end of the tube, a device, similar to a small sewing machine, is used to suture the tissue in two locations and tie it together, creating a pleat. This pleat reduces the size of the esophagus opening, preventing acid from entering.
This is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure and may not require general anesthesia. Recovery is minimal, results are immediate. Symptoms are diminished and the need for anti-reflux medication is eliminated.