Tucson, AZ (November 3, 2016)—For people suffering from reflux and heartburn, Northwest Medical Center (NMC) now offers a treatment that may put those symptoms to rest. NMC’s surgical team recently became the first in Southern Arizona to provide a patient with a new device to manage Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
The device is a small implant—about the size of a quarter—placed around the weak lower esophageal sphincter. It’s comprised of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep the weak valve closed, essentially providing a barrier that prevents stomach acid from moving into the esophagus. The force of swallowing opens the device to allow food and drink to pass through. The device is implanted during a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure that typically takes about 45 minutes to perform. Patients usually go home the same day.
Dr. Patrick Chiasson, a general surgeon and independent member of the medical staff at NMC, was the first surgeon in Southern Arizona to implant the device. According to Chiasson, “This device is less invasive than other procedures used to treat GERD and can make a significant improvement in a patient’s quality of life.”
The device is most appropriate for patients who do not want to take medications or for patients whose medication no longer provides control of reflux symptoms. The device begins working immediately and the procedure does not require significant alterations to the patient’s anatomy. Patients can typically return to a normal diet and activities in less than a week.
About Northwest Medical Center
Northwest Medical Center is a 300-bed hospital offering a full range of healthcare services including Emergency services, accredited chest pain and heart failure programs, neurology and neurosurgery, outpatient imaging, a nationally accredited surgical weight loss program, total joint program, spine program and stroke center (distinguished by Joint Commission with Gold Seal designations), robotic surgery, GI lab, a free-standing women’s center, women’s imaging center of excellence (including 3D mammography) inpatient rehabilitation facility, wound care center, five urgent care facilities, and the Lazos de Familia and Healthy Beginnings pregnancy outreach programs. NMC also has three ambulatory surgery centers and affiliated medical practices including Northwest Allied Physicians offering primary care and a wide range of specialists, Desert Cardiology and The Heart Center of Southern Arizona. For non-life threatening conditions, patients can check in online at HealthierTucson.com and click on “Online Check In” to choose a projected treatment time at any Northwest Healthcare Emergency Room. Online check in is based on the current wait time; patients need only complete a brief online form. Patients may also use online scheduling for Northwest Allied Physician primary care providers by visiting MyTucsonDoc.com. To learn more, visit HealthierTucson.com
6200 North LaCholla Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85741