Alfred McNair, M.D., senior partner of Digestive Health Center, P.A., has recently attended BARD Endoscopic Technologies training and is certified to use the BARD Endoscopic Suturing Device. Dr. McNair successfully performed the first procedure of this kind on the Coast in March at the Biloxi Regional Medical Center.
Sixty million Americans experience heartburn monthly and 15-25 million have daily heartburn. About 19 million take medication for heartburn at least twice weekly. If you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also know as GERD, you know what it's like to suffer from the burning discomfort of acid reflux. You may also know what it is like to experience:
- Difficult and/or painful swallowing
- Chest Pain
- Coughing or wheezing
- Sore throat
Now, with the help of Dr. McNair, you can consider having a new procedure with the BARD EndoCinch. This novel non-surgical suturing system may relieve your symptoms and provide you with the freedom you've been waiting for.
GERD is caused by the reflux, or backflow, of stomach acid up into the esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth with your stomach). In many patients, this backflow occurs because the gate or valve (referred to as a sphincter) separating the stomach from the esophagus relaxes. This relaxation allows acid to flow out of the stomach up into your esophagus, where it causes burning sensations and other symptoms. In most cases, GERD is a chronic condition that requires some type of long-term, if not life-long medical attention, Traditional treatments have included lifestyle modifications, medications, and surgery.
Normally the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) prevents gastric acid from refluxing into the esophagus and irritating the esophageal lining. However, heartburn occurs when the LES relaxes too frequently and its' resting pressure drops, allowing the reflux.
The medical community has long sought to develop better procedures that are less invasive than current methods. The advancement of the flexible endoscope and certain endoscopic procedures has prompted the development of an endoscopic suturing device which can offer advantages over the current anti-reflux surgeries without the significant and not infrequent risks associated with these procedures and normally without the requirements of general anesthesia.
With the assistance of C. Paul Swain, M.D., Royal London Hospital, CA Bard Inc., Bard Interventional Products Division, Division of Billercia, Massachusetts, has developed the Bard EndoCinch Suturing System (BESS) to facilitate the placement of stitches within the upper gastrointestinal tract. This device could alleviate the symptoms of GERD, thus offering patients an excellent alternative to daily medication while avoiding the risks associated with an invasive surgical procedure.
A clear advantage of the FDA-cleared BESS is that in most cases, it can be performed under conscious sedation rather than general anesthesia. Performed on an outpatient basis, the patient can usually go home the same day and return to normal activities of daily living the next day.