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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Sep;19 Suppl 3:S44-8.

Non-pharmacologic treatment strategies in gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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Section of Gastroenterology, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines.


In the West, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common and well-recognized disease. Lately, it has been described as an emerging problem in the East as well. While it is not a rapidly fatal illness, it causes a myriad of disturbing symptoms that remarkably reduce the patients' quality of life (QOL). The economic impact that results from multiple consultations, diagnostic investigations, and administration of a variety of treatment regimens, including surgery, is enormous. The operative management for GERD is fundoplication, for example Toupet (270 degree wrap of the distal esophagus) and Nissen (360 degree wrap of the distal esophagus). These surgical procedures are aimed at permanently controlling acid reflux by reconstructing the gastroesophageal junction. Currently, the ease, aesthetic advantages, and the comparable outcomes achieved by minimally invasive laparoscopic fundoplication have rekindled interest in the operative alternatives of GERD management. Fundoplication controls or diminishes considerably the severity of the symptoms associated with GERD. However, appearance of new symptoms i.e. dysphagia, 'gas-bloat syndrome', etc. as postoperative events have been reported. Recently, several innovative endoluminal treatment modalities have been introduced, namely; endoscopic plicator/suturing devices, bulking injections, and radiofrequency treatment. They are focused on enhancing the performance of a malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter. While results of several case series reflect substantial improvements in GERD-HRQL scores, lack of long-term durability data is a major concern when recommending these novel, relatively simple, peroral techniques to a long suffering patient. It is clear that these therapies are still evolving and long-term outcomes of properly designed comparative efficacy trials are awaited.

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