A cardiothoracic surgeon in New York, Dr. Darren Rohan has started a new minimally invasive program for reflux surgery (called fundoplication.) With the transoral esophagogastric fundoplication procedure, he can tighten the sphincter (valve) between the stomach and the esophagus by endoscopy (instead of laparoscopic surgery) to prevent acid from refluxing into the esophagus. This is an important development in the treatment of gerd (gastroesophageal reflux disease) since the incidence of gerd is on the rise – due to obesity and this has led to an increase in esophageal cancer (as discussed in a previous post).
(Now, Dr. Rohan isn’t the first person to perform this procedure but I thought he’s be a great person to tell us more about it here at Cirugia de Torax, so I’ve written to him to request more information and to invite him to contribute a guest post.)
We also know that in addition to esophageal cancer (and Barrett’s esophagus) that reflux does more than destroy tooth enamel. Work by researchers at Duke has linked reflux with problems with lung transplant recipients, and then to reactive airway disease itself. While the degree of this relationship is not fully understood and is still debated – it is clear that there is a correlation to reflux disease and airway disease. It has also been associated with aspiration pneumonia, particularly in patients on reflux suppressing medications.
I’ll be updating this story soon with more information.
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Categories: Esophageal Surgery