Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) accounts for a substantial degree of medical resource utilization and is a common indication for outpatient physician visits. The primary therapy for GERD has been proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Equally effective and reasonably safe for GERD is surgical therapy, specifically, laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. Medical therapy is used initially, with surgery reserved for patients with refractory symptoms despite optimal medical management, to avoid the added risks of abdominal surgery. As such, there has been considerable investigation into minimally invasive, endoscopic therapies for patients who respond to PPI, but would prefer to avoid long-term medication use. Here, we discuss the anatomical and physiological barriers that must be overcome by such devices. We further review the data on currently available endoscopic devices. Despite considerable interest and resources in developing an effective endoscopic therapy for GERD, none of the currently available technologies have demonstrated an ability to overcome the pathophysiological hurdles present in most patients with GERD. Furthermore, well-designed trials have not demonstrated adequate clinical efficacy for these endoscopic devices. As such, despite a growing need for an intermediate therapy between PPI and fundoplication, at present there is not adequate evidence to recommend endoscopic therapy for patients with GERD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging