Darlene Van Hoos has always enjoyed spicy foods. What she didn't like were the after effects.
Darlene has gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. She didn't want to take medication indefinitely, so she jumped at the chance to be in a study using the Plicator.
The Plicator uses a guide wire to help doctors move the snake-like device through the esophagus into the stomach. The Plicator pulls back tissue where the stomach and esophagus meet. Jaws clamp down and deploy an implant that sutures the tissue.
Doctors tighten the valve between the stomach and esophagus, restoring normal anti-reflux barrier. The procedure replicates what's done in surgery.
Because it's done in a thirty minute outpatient procedure, doctors think patients will welcome the idea.
Darlene has noticed a big difference. Now she can experience the pleasure of eating without the pain of heartburn.
The Plicator has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration, and it's available for heartburn sufferers.