I just got the Stretta done

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jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 5/30/2011 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all I wanted to let you know how my Stretta is going in the hopes of giving you all new options:

So I flew to Towson Maryland to have the Stretta done by Dr. Noar. From all my research, he is the most practiced doctor in America for the Stretta. My own GI used to do the Stretta but wasn't very successful with it. He said the Stretta is very physician skill based for a better outcome, which I thought was very cool of him to admit his shortcomings! Thus, the long flight to Dr. Noar. The Stretta was about $3500 and insurance does not cover it. My past history I am one of those 1 out of 10,000 people who are allergic to PPIs.

I had my Stretta done on may 17, 2011, so it's been two weeks.

Well, so far my results are WORSE! The Stretta REALLY aggravated my reflux. It's calming down a little bit now but still is worse than before I went in. Dr. Noar put me on Carafate which does help. You're suppossed to stay on your meds for the first month or so after the Stretta and because of my PPI allergy, I'm doing the Stretta while I'm refluxing, so it may take longer for my tissue to heal. I'm not giving up yet. They say it takes about 8 weeks to see any results so I'll keep you posted. But so far, 2 weeks it sucks! However, the actual procedure--piece of cake no different than an EGD; besides the worse reflux I felt fine and flew home the next day no problem.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6971
   Posted 5/30/2011 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jasmine,
Congratulations on your Stretta procedure! It sounds as if you went out of your way to find the best physician to do the procedure, which is critical. I don't know much about the Stretta, but it sounds if it takes some time to settle into place, just like the Nissen.

I hope that things get feeling better soon. I know how frustrating it must be to have gone to all that trouble and expense to be experiencing so much reflux. As you said, it will take some weeks for the healing to take place (and I assume the swelling to subiside), so try to be patient.

Thanks for sharing your experience with the forum. Please keep posting to let us know how you're doing. These posts are invaluable to others who are trying to figure out their best plan of action.

Take care, and best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Feel better!
Denise

johnboy85
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/1/2011 8:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Jasmine,

It is way too soon for you to be noticing any benefits from the Stretta procedure. All the studies that I have read say that it takes up to 6 months to a year before you start noticing any benefits. At 1 year the Stretta effect is supposed to be at its full potential. So don't give up hope yet, you still have awhile to heal. Here are some studies of the Stretta www.mederitherapeutics.com/index.php?page=clinical-studies. Here is a video of the procedure if you’re interested www.mederitherapeutics.com/video/videoSTRETTA-HCP.html.

I’m curious; did you have a hiatal hernia or a large hill grade? Most times GI's only recommend the Stretta procedure to people that do not have any kind of structural abnormalities, as in your EGD comes back normal, but yet you're diagnosed with gerd through a positive bravo test.

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/1/2011 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jasmine,
Glad to hear you had your procedure and the cost was very reasonable compared to so many other procedures.
 
I hope everything heals well for you and you will keep us posted.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
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jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 6/7/2011 11:16 PM (GMT -7)   
HI to all my GERD buddies,

Well, today is the third week since my stretta. I know, I know I'm not supposed to notice any difference yet I just didn't think it would get worse. I actually had two good days this past week but today is not so good. I'm still refluxing a lot. I'm still on the Carafate and will be until the end of this month. So sorry guys not much extra to add to my past post.

about my anatomy, I did have a hiatal hernia but it is less than 2 cm which is the Stretta criteria. Dr. Noar asked that I take a Gastric Emptying test an EGG (which is also a gastric emptying test but easier) and a motility test to see if I would be a good candidate for the Stretta.

If any of you have had a motility test--I think that that is a form of torture, but I made it through so now I am 007 worthy.

Wow, I wish that PPIs were a magic pill for me this really hurts. My neighbor has been on PPIs for 9 years now with no problems--I'm jealous!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12636
   Posted 6/8/2011 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, the motility test is a form of torture. The doctor almost found out all my secrets while administering it. ;))

Why did you chose the Stretta method instead of the nissen?
Joy

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 6/11/2011 6:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Joy,

I chose the Stretta instead of the Nissen because my weight is so low (105 lbs) and everyone I know personally who had the Stretta lost a lot of weight. Because of my GERD it is really hard to eat and I just can't add the weight. Also since the Stretta is non-evasive and you don't have to be on a soft diet, I thought I would give it a chance and then if it didn't work do the Nissen next. I just thought the Stretta would work or not work I didn't think it would aggravate my reflux. I still have hope though it's still early and then if it does work--awesome--I didn't have to get a surgery. Also, and I meant to post this to give my full medical history, I got GERD as the result of a surgery ( a tummy tuck) in retrospect I wish I would have never done it. Well, I'm sure paying for it now. Maybe I can be on a talk show "Plastic Surgery Gone Bad".

PS. For those of you who can control GERD with your PPIs, the Stretta would be no big deal it didn't hurt at all. It's my reflux that's killing me. Sometimes I think God hates me. I can't believe that I can't take anything to ease my pain. I am in so much pain--I hate this!!!! I hope I start feeling better fast or at least that my GERD will go back to the way it was before the Stretta. Sorry this was a depressing post; it's just wearing on me.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6971
   Posted 6/11/2011 7:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jasmine,

Sorry to hear you're still struggling. Can you take liquid antacids? I would think they would be your best bet if you're refluxing, but can't take PPI's.

I just want to offer this possibility...
Could it be that you're interpreting pain caused by the procedure as reflux, when really it's the pain of having the Stretta done? I do know that post-op Nissen patients often do that. It's easy to do, as the esophagus is a "dumb" organ and can't really differentiate pain.

I've read in other forums that people routinely have pain upon swallowing and burping, etc. I have read also that unlike you ( sad) they continue to take PPI's and H2Blockers during the recovery period...and that definitely puts you at a disadvantage.

I hope you get feeling better very soon!
Denise

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 6/11/2011 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Denise you are sweet. Most of my pain is in my throat and I can feel a lot of regurgitation. I was on Rantinidine and but it doesn't help at all I think it might make it worse--Seriously...I hate my body! It seems that everything that is supposed to reduce acid makes my reflux worse. Even Gaviscon and Tums irritate my reflux sometimes--but sometimes they work. I don't understand. I swear the carafate is causing reflux too. I'm going to shut up now. I'm tired of whining. Oh wait here's one more: I'm am STARVING, but it hurts to swallow :( There I'm done.
On a positive note I've had a pretty good asthma day.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6971
   Posted 6/12/2011 5:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jasmine,
I also had asthma made much worse with reflux, so I can totally relate to that.
Fortunately, it improved tremendously after my Nissen in 2009.

Can you eat dairy? A very soothing, yet satisfying thing to eat is egg custard. It's very easily swallowed and doesn't hurt anything on the way down. Just a thought.

Don't give up the Carafate Suspension. It will be your best friend. If you think you're hurting now, try it without the protective coating of Carafate. I still use it at times, as I have a reactive stomach, and my wrap is created out of my stomach, so it gets irritated at times. Carafate definitely helps. The negative is trying to time it with meals and meds.

Good luck, and get well soon!
Denise

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 6/13/2011 9:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Jasmine,

So sorry you are going through all this. I felt like I was reading a page from my diary when I read your last post here. Yes, even Tums gave me immediate HB (heartburn), just not every time. I thought maybe it was one of the particular flavors in the berry mix. I couldn't understand it at all. I made sure I didn't use the peppermint or citrus flavor, so I was shocked when I got the heartburn. I'm not allergic to the ppi's, but it did take a long time for the right one to work and kick in, so I do know the pain you are experiencing daily. I don't think you are whining, more like just telling it like it is!

I second the use of the Carafate if you can, and yes, it gave me instant HB and gurgling back up my throat too at times. I figured I'm going to have HB anyway might as well try and get some healing from the Carafate. My throat wasn't the problem though. My pain was midway down my chest that hurt and made swallowing and talking painful. Have you tried sipping liquid through straws to see if that makes the swallowing easier. I am still eating minimally but I can tolerate protein drinks right now and my new GI has me sipping all during the day in hopes of getting some nutrition and putting some weight back on. Because of the constant intake of food the protein drinks I can only take the Carafate at night. I'm still trying to figure out how to get more doses of it into my schedule. Even just that one dose is helping keep the pain away though and providing some healing.

I do hope you feel better soon.

Sewfun

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 6/15/2011 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much everybody--I love you all--your support is sooo appreciated. I think the most frustrating thing about GERD is that it's just GERD. It's not like I'm terminally ill or in serious danger, but it hurts like hell! and to be in chronic pain for months and months just wears on you. But thank you all for your suggestions. I'm trying them and they are great, and I wish us all good health!

So it's been 4 weeks since my STRETTA and yesterday and today so far have been pretty good. My reflux has calmed down, and I'm only refluxing after I eat. Unfortunately, since the previous 4 weeks have been so GERD crazy, any reflux is very painful in my chest and throat and it's still difficult to swallow. My husband made me get on a scale (I've been too scared to look) and I've only lost 5 lbs! not too bad :)

I'm still on the carafate (that stuff is expensive!), but it helps.

I guess no other news. If the Stretta is starting to work yet I don't know, but I'll keep you all posted.

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 7/6/2011 10:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

So it's been 7 weeks since my Stretta. I'm still on the carafate. I thought I was doing well, so I went off the carafate but then it hurt too much, so I guess the carafate is working really well. But I dropped my dosage down from every 6 hours (3 x a day) to just morning and night and I'm doing alright the pain is manageable.

The verdict on my reflux so far is .... I've had better, but I've also had worse. So I'll give it some more time. But in the meantime I'm setting up the necessary steps for either a nissen or a toupet because I don't want to live with this any longer than I have to.

My asthma is the most difficult part so when that gets better, I'll be a happy girl. I'm on pulmicort and a rescue inhaler. Does anyone have any asthma suggestions or what they did that helped them?

Still having trouble swallowing. But again it's better than it was a few weeks ago.
I'll keep you posted

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6971
   Posted 7/7/2011 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jasmine,

Asthma was the reason I finally had the Nissen surgery. I could have dealt with the amount of reflux I was experiencing, and the medication was protecting my esophagus well. It was my uncontrollable asthma that sent me to the surgery.

I coughed constantly throughout my recovery, and was being treated for a lung infection before and after the surgery. I was also on dangerously high levels of steroids. My lungs were bad enough to need a nebulizer treatment several times a day, and lung PT.

It took my lungs two and a half months to heal post Nissen. In the midst of pollen season in May, they they made the turn toward recovery. I no longer required nebulizing, and I began to wean off the high steroid dosage.

I still have allergic asthma issues during pollen season, but it's nothing like it was before my surgery. I'm very happy with the Nissen results.

I would suggest you give your lungs more time to heal. As far as what I'm taking...Advair HFA 231/21 is my maintenance inhaler. It has a steroid and Serevent component to help keep my lungs open. Pre-surgery I was taking 4 puffs of Flovent twice a day, and 1 puff of Serevent 50 twice a day (with little improvement). Since surgery I take 1 puff of Advair HFA twice a day and am doing well.

Good luck getting your breathing better! Patience...it does take time!
Denise

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 507
   Posted 7/7/2011 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Jasmine
I was diagnosed with asthma about 12-15 years ago. I got to the point that I carried a rescue inhaler all the time, I did not have to use maintenance inhalers though. I was told my asthma was from breathing the smoke from wildfires off the mountains in VA. The last few months b4 my Nissen I was as bad as I had ever been, Within a few weeks of surgery I was treated with steroids twice. Neither time did the wheezing clear up completely. Thank goodness it cleared enough for surgery. I had surgery April 1st this year and I no longer carry the rescue inhaler. I cough occasionally but not often. I know I may be the exception rather than the rule, but I believe my asthma was more reflux induced than environment.
Good luck and keep in touch..
Sandi

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 7/8/2011 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you for your asthma advice. I'm going to a pulmologist on Thursday for some extra help and advice the allergy and asthma doctor is great but I think I need a different opinion--I want to be able to walk up my stairs. I will be patient as you suggested Denise and I'm so glad to hear success stories. Thank you Denise and Sandi--you give me hope!

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 7/13/2011 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, it is now week 8. Still no success to report. I do have an increased feeling of fulness (worse than before the surgery) which my doctor says may be a sign of it beginning to work. My asthma is actually doing better. I haven't used a rescue inhaler for 3 days. My throat pain is still severe and it is still difficult to swallow. I'll still give it more time. I know it will be slow but I can't stand the reflux for much longer so I'm thinking 2 more months and I'm going in for a wrap!

KatherineG
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/13/2011 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Jasmine8,

I'm new to the forum and have no experience with the surgeries but I just wanted to wish you the best, hang in there!

I have newly diagnosed LPR, which was misdiagnosed for quite a while as colds/allergies. So, I'm at the beginning.

Good Luck!

KatherineG

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 7/14/2011 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you Katherine. I hope that your road to recovery will be short and successful.

I just got back from the Pulmonologist and my lungs are doing well!!!! My breathing function has improved! I still have wheezing and coughing but it is getting better--in fact I'm even in the normal range! I'm hoping this is because my reflux is getting better even though my LPR symptoms haven't improved. The pollen count is also down so it could be that also, but I'm going to go out on a "hope limb" here and say that the reflux is starting to get better. I'll keep you posted with my improvements and I soooooooooooo hope that the Stretta will work 100%

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 8/5/2011 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry guys only bad news. My asthma is back with a vengeance and my gerd is not better. well I guess ill be getting a Nissen. Dang!!!!!!!!! I really wanted to avoid that

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 8/10/2011 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Asthma better today but still a lot of reflux. It's been 3 months and no improvement. They say to give it six but I don't think I can wait that long. Keep you posted

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 8/15/2011 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
okay here's the update: I talked with Dr. Noar. He really is a great doctor. I need to wait one more month. Then at the 4 month mark I will get an impeedement test to see what my reflux is really like. Then from there he will recommend the next step and what surgery he feels is best.
Please God give me the strength to make it through the next 4 plus weeks.

chaoticme
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 8/15/2011 6:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I will pray for you Jasmine. I know you'll make it just fine. Lean on His word.

"Pile your troubles on God's shoulders—he'll carry your load." Psalm 55:22.
Specific (cancer) phobia, depression, GAD, fibro, hypertension, GERD

elsiem
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 8/15/2011 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jasmine

Hang in there & please try to be patient. Four weeks will pass before you know it & then you will have the answers you need to move forward.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter."

Take care

Lynda

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 8/19/2011 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you my sweet gerd friends. We can all make it. I'm trying hard to accept what is.
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