Convenient. Stretta is a daycare procedure that takes less than 60 minutes to be performed Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI If you are suffering from chronic heart burn and acid reflux and are sick of taking medications, here is something you might want to consider.

The Dubai-based Mediclinic Welcare Hospital has introduced a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), providing a viable alternative to surgery when the condition cannot be controlled through medications.

Called Stretta therapy, the endoscopic procedure is performed in less than 60 minutes, allowing patients to return to their normal activities within a day.

Dr Mazin Rasool Aljabiri, consultant physician and gastroenterologist, who has performed over 80 such procedures, said 30 per cent of the patients who come to him suffer from GERD symptoms.

He said stretta therapy helps correct this dysfunction. “It uses a specialised balloon catheter system to deliver radiofrequency energy to the muscle between the stomach and oesophagus, which improves the muscle tissue and produces a valve function to prevent acid from going up and down. Such patients usually have a loose and open valve due to a variety of reasons and this needs to be addressed,” said Dr Aljabiri.

Although the therapy has been employed in the West for 15 years, it is new to the UAE. Dr Aljabiri said several studies have been conducted to investigate its safety and efficacy and the procedure boasts a high success rate. “It is fully covered by insurance and its cost-effectiveness in the long term is a big plus,” he added.