During the 7th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology new research was presented about a new device that looks promising for GERD treatment. The device is an implant that provides electrical stimulation to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle. The electrical stimulation is supposed to help strengthen a weak or dysfunctional LES (1).
While the study did not include a large group of patients and still warrants further investigation, the preliminary results do look promising. The Endostim LES Stimulation therapy showed a 77% normalization or 50% reduction of PPI use in one small group of patients and in another group of only 11 patients 91% were able to come off of medications (2).
The device is implanted laproscopically in a minimally invasive procedure. This research looks very promising for patients in the future and will hopefully provide a new alternative to more traditional GERD surgeries.
Jennifer Rackley is a nutritionist and mother of three girls. Two of her children have dealt with acid reflux disease, food allergies, migraines, and asthma. She has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Harding University and has done graduate work in public health and nutrition through Eastern Kentucky University. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she does patient consults and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association.