Skip Section Navigation


Published on August 03, 2015

New procedure bringing patients with acid reflux relief

St. Vincent's is one of 3 hospitals nationwide offering MUSE procedure

By Melanie Lawson, News4JAX

Dr. Ali Lankarani performs a MUSE procedure

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease affects 60 percent of the adult population in the U-S. Many times the symptoms can be tamed with medicine or adjusting your diet but in some cases it requires surgery. A local hospital is offering a new procedure that's giving patients relief.

It's called the MUSE procedure and it's only being offered here locally at St Vincent's hospital. The gastroenterologist who's performing the procedure says it could one day be the easiest and best way to treat GERD in patients who don't get relief with medication.

Jeanne Barzyk used to have trouble finishing a complete sentence. She was constantly clearing her throat. She had no idea the problem was asthma triggered by acid reflux.

"It would get into severe choking it wasn't just clearing the throat it was stuff that was coming up," says Barzyk.

Dr. Ali Lankarani, a Gastroenterologist with Borland Groover Clinic, also works at St Vincent's Hospital. He evaluated Barzyk and knew medication wasn't an option because she needed surgery. Lankarani had just started doing the MUSE procedure and knew Barzyk was a good candidate.

"I told him I would jump on it immediately because I want relieve. My life was just miserable," says Barzyk.

"Now with this procedure we can fix the valve that's between the stomach and esophagus make it tighter so that the acid reflux is under control without having to undergo surgery," says Lankarani.

The procedure is FDA approved but not yet covered by insurance. Lankarani is part of a group who's doing it free of charge for select patients and monitoring those patients for 5 years afterwards to see if their GERD is getting better. Patients usually are monitored and experience chest discomfort for 24 hours, they go on a soft food diet for 8 days but afterwards there's usually relief.

"It was not painful it was totally bearable and it took right away. The biggest part was not being able to eat or drink," says Barzyk.

Now three months later Barzyk says you can hear the difference.

"I'm fine, I could eat anything the throat is getting much better it's not the way it used to be," says Barzyk.

St Vincent's Healthcare is the third hospital system in the country to offer patients the MUSE surgery. If you want more information call Borland Groover Clinic at (904) 381-9393. Ask about the MUSE procedure.

View the story: