Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition requiring considerable medical resources. The mainstay of therapy is proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are effective at reducing acid reflux. In patients who have refractory acid reflux and esophagitis despite high-dose PPI, or are intolerant of the side effects of PPI therapy, surgical fundoplication is the primary therapy. The risk and cost gap between medical therapy and surgery has resulted in substantial interest in less-invasive endoscopic therapies. In this review, we discuss the underlying physiology of GERD along with the anatomic hurdles that must be overcome to develop an effective antireflux procedure. We also review the current published literature and assess the clinical efficacy of the devices that have been studied or currently are being investigated. Despite promising early studies, many of the devices fall short in high-quality randomized controlled trials. Furthermore, the physiologic aberration resulting in GERD oftentimes is addressed inadequately. Although there is certainly a need for less-invasive, safe, and effective therapy for reflux, therapy will need to withstand the established clinical efficacy of both PPI and surgical fundoplication. At present, we have the luxury of time to wait for such a device to become available.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
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