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Natural Orifice GERD Treatment Now Available at St. Vincent’s Riverside

St. Vincent’s HealthCare (part of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest non-profit health system) is now the third hospital system in the country to offer patients incisionless treatment for Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

GERD occurs when the lower part of the esophagus does not close properly and stomach contents and/or acid rise up into the esophagus causing irritation, acid reflux and heartburn. GERD is not just uncomfortable; it can lead to difficulty swallowing, ulcers and even cancer.

While most people are able to manage GERD with over-the-counter or prescription medications, more severe cases involve surgical intervention. Up until now, the best patients could hope for was laparoscopic surgery through small incisions. Now a device called MUSE allows for an incisionless procedure.

“We have done several cases with the MUSE as part of a study here in the U.S. We are in very elite company as the other trial sites are Johns Hopkins and Winthrop University,” said Dr. Ali Lankarani, a board certified gastroenterologist with the Borland-Groover Clinic.

The MUSE gains access to the malfunctioning section of the esophagus via the patient’s own mouth. The endoscopic system includes a camera, ultrasound, illumination and stapler in one small device.

“The endoscopic device allows for patient’s to be treated without incisions and the result is no blood loss, less pain and much quicker recovery. Medical intervention is constantly evolving and we are on the forefront of that when it comes to GERD treatment in Jacksonville,” said Dr. Lankarani.