Stretta is a procedure that treats the underlying cause of GORD (Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux) – a weak muscle between the stomach and the oesophagus. This is a non-surgical procedure that significantly reduces GORD symptoms and can help you stop taking or decrease reflux medications. A gastroscopy will be performed initially to assess the upper Gastro-intestinal tract anatomy and the suitability for Stretta. If you have a hiatal hernia greater than 2 cm or achalasia, the Stretta procedure is contraindicated.
Why is Stretta performed?
- To alleviate GORD symptoms
- To eliminate or decrease GORD medications in patients who are not getting relief, or long term medication is not desirable
- To treat GORD in patients who are not suitable or prefer to avoid surgery
- To treat patients who have had anti-reflux or bariatric surgery, but still have GORD and want to avoid revisional surgery
- To improve quality of life
What is the preparation for Stretta?
The best and safest way to do the procedure is on an empty stomach.
You should have nothing to eat or drink, including water, for six hours before your Stretta procedure.
It is very important you tell your specialist up to five days in advance about any medications you take. If you are on essential medications you may be able to take them with small sips of water. You may need to adjust your usual dose for the procedure or stop certain medications. If you take any blood thinning medication or have any allergies to medications please call the MacMurray Centre on 09 550 1080.
How is Stretta performed?
Stretta is performed in a fully equipped theatre room. Your throat will be sprayed with local anaesthetic and you will be administered a General Anaesthetic by an Anaesthetist. Your specialist will pass the Stretta device through your mouth to the area between the stomach and the oesophagus (LOS), delivering radiofrequency (RF) energy to the muscle. This treatment regenerates the tissue, resulting in improved barrier function that aims to prevent reflux and reduce GORD symptoms. This procedure generally takes about 60 minutes.
What happens after Stretta?
After your procedure you will be wheeled into the recovery room where you will rest to allow the General Anaesthetic to wear off. You will be in recovery for at least 2 hours after the procedure. You may experience some mild pain or discomfort in your throat and/or stomach, abdominal bloating, burping and swallowing difficulty, shortly after Stretta therapy. This can be managed by oral or intra venous pain medications in recovery if required.
When you are awake your specialist will discuss your procedure with you and a written summary will be given to you for your reference. A copy of your report will also be sent to your GP.
You must have someone to take you home after the procedure and stay with you, as you will be drowsy and unable to drive. This should wear off in a few hours. You should stay off work the day of your procedure and the following two days, but can resume normal activities after this.
Overnight accommodation can be provided at the MacMurray Centre. Please enquire with our administration team.
Following the procedure you will need to adhere to a specific diet for 2 weeks (please refer to the dietetic protocol). The full effect of Stretta therapy may take around 3-4 months, with effects varying from patient to patient.
Please remember to:
- Follow a diet of liquids only for the first 24 hours after your procedure and a soft diet for next two weeks (please refer to the dietetic protocol supplied).
- Continue your previous GORD medication regimen. One month after the Stretta procedure your specialist will reassess your medications and will alter your regimen.
- Crush all medications or use liquid medications for, at least, one month after the Stretta procedure.
- Stop using NSAIDs (e.g. Nurofen, Advil, Voltaren) for two weeks after Stretta.
- Avoid any procedures involving the oesophagus for at least one month
Safety and Risks
Stretta is generally a very safe therapeutic procedure. Complications are rare (0.9%) but may include:
- Upper gastrointestinal perforation (a hole or tear in the wall of the upper GI tract) requiring a repair operation
- Transient bleeding due to oesophageal injury
- Transient chest pain and/or epigastric discomfort
- Dental injury
- Infection requiring antibiotic therapy (very rare)
- Vomiting- if any vomiting occurs, please contact your specialist immediately. Excessive vomiting may result in perforation.
If you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the MacMurray Centre on 09 550 1080.