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Tags: acid | reflux | stomach

New Technique Treats Reflux

Tuesday, 17 April 2012 12:19 PM EDT

Mayo Clinic researchers have created a new way to treat heartburn – a ring of tiny magnetic titanium beads that keeps stomach acid from leaking into the throat.
The Mayo Clinic in Florida will be one of the first health care institutions to offer a newly approved device to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can lead to serious health problems.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the device and treatment procedure last month for patients with GERD that isn’t controlled by medication.
“I have many patients who are searching for something more than medication for their reflux, but have been hesitant to undergo a traditional reflux surgery," said Dr. Ken DeVault, a Mayo Clinic physician who participated in clinical trials of the new device conducted at 14 U.S. medical centers. "I think this procedure may well be a very attractive option for that group."
Reflux occurs when food or liquid in the stomach flows back into the esophagus because a ring of muscle at the top of the stomach to close properly.
Drugs can neutralize the acid in many GERDs, and an operation can correct the defect. But not all reflux patients benefit from medication and between 1.5 million and 2 million might prefer a less-invasive option than surgery, Mayo Clinic researchers said.
The implanted device is a ring of magnetic titanium beads that is wrapped around the junction between the stomach and esophagus. The magnetic attraction between the beads is strong enough to keep the sphincter closed to refluxing acid, but weak enough so that food can pass through it into the stomach.

© HealthDay

Mayo Clinic researchers say a ring of tiny magnetic titanium beads prevents GERD.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 12:19 PM
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