April 25, 2017

FAQs- Stretta

What kind of results can I expect with the Stretta?
While every patient’s results will depend on their specific history and anatomy, a 10 year Stretta study results reported in the Surgical Endoscopy Journal showed that after the Stretta procedure:

  • 72% of patients achieved a normalized GERD-HRQL score
  • 41% of patients were completely off PPIs and an additional 23% of patients had reduced their PPI usage by greater than 50%
  • 85% of patients had a regression of their pre-existing Barrett’s
  • 54% of patients had a satisfaction increase of more than 60%

When can I start eating normally again?
Patients are encouraged to follow a liquid diet for 24 hours and a soft diet for 2 weeks after the procedure.

I’ve heard patients have trouble swallowing after procedure. How do I avoid or deal with that?
Generally, patients have some discomfort and difficulty swallowing (dysphasia) for a few days after the procedure. This is a common and expected side effect of the procedure.

How soon after the procedure can I resume normal physical activities?
Patients are generally able to return to normal activity within a couple of days. Specific restrictions will be dependent on your doctor’s instructions.

How long is the procedure?
The Stretta procedure typically takes an hour. Patients generally go home 1-2 hours after procedure.

What are the risks associated with the Stretta procedure?  
While all procedures have risks, such as the risk of infection, bleeding and reactions to anesthesia, the most common side effects of the Stretta procedure are difficulty swallowing and post-procedure pain. Your medical team will discuss the risks with you prior to your procedure.

How long will my Stretta last?
Studies have shown the Stretta can last 10+ plus years.

Is there any chance my reflux will return if I gain a lot of weight after the procedure?
Weight gain increases the pressure inside the abdomen, so it is possible that significant weight gain can create more pressure than the LES can counteract, leading to the return of reflux symptoms.

Will my insurance company pay for Stretta?
While coverage and patient costs are dependent on your specific insurance carrier and policy, nearly all insurance companies pay for antireflux procedures. Your clinical team will work with your insurance company to obtain pre-authorization for the procedure.

I had weight loss surgery and still have reflux. Am I a candidate for a Stretta procedure?
As long as further testing doesn’t exclude you, you may be a candidate for a Stretta procedure.  

I had the Stretta procedure and now want weight loss surgery. Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?
As long as further testing doesn’t exclude you, you may be a candidate for a weight loss operation.

If my Stretta procedure isn’t effective, what are my options?
As long as further testing doesn’t exclude you and proves that reflux is present, you may be a candidate for another Stretta procedure or other reflux surgeries.

I know I have GERD and feel better on medications. Why do I need additional testing before the procedure?
Esophageal motility testing (manometry) is needed to ensure the muscles in the esophagus generate enough pressure to push the food past the Stretta augmented LES. Twenty-four hour pH testing is used to measure when, and for how long, acid is refluxed into the esophagus to prove that your symptoms correlate with actual reflux events.  An upper GI procedure or barium swallow is used to define your anatomy and help diagnose a hiatal hernia. Additionally, your insurance company may require some or all of the testing in order to pay for the procedure.