Friday, December 14, 2007
Medical Reports: Acid Reflux
A medical first in the U.S.: surgery without one single incision used to cure acid reflux disease. Seven's Christine Cruz has the story in tonight's Healthcast.
WSVN -- Fifty-four-year-old Ron Caligure has always been active, despite the fact that for 20 years, this middle school gym teacher has suffered from acid reflux.
Ron Caligure: "It got to the point that I would cough and throw the food up."
He started getting dizzy, even passed out, then finally decided he needed more than antacids.
Ron is one of 14 million Americans who suffer from acid reflux disease. That's when the barrier between the esophagus and stomach stops working and stomach acid pours back up into the esophagus, inflaming it.
The FDA has just approved a new surgery for acid reflux. Patients don't even have to go under the knife. Instead, surgeons use a device called the EsophyX, snaking it down the patient's throat.
Dr. Blair Jobe: "We see it as surgery, except that it is surgery performed from within, so everything is placed through the mouth down into the esophagus."
The surgeon recreates the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. A camera attached to the EsophyX lets the surgeon see what he's doing.
Dr. Blair Jobe: "And it comes out on the very end here and hooks back on itself like a candy cane."
Ron was the first patient in the U.S. to have this surgery.
He's back to coaching and feels great.
Ron Caligure: "Nothing hurts."
Christine Cruz: "This new surgery won't replace traditional surgery, but doctors say it should be able to treat more people who suffer from acid reflux."
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