Use of radiofrequency ablation of the lower esophageal sphincter to treat recurrent gastroesophageal reflux disease

Document Type



Paediatric Surgery


Purpose: Recurrent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) after gastroesophageal surgery is a troublesome problem. Reoperative surgery often is complicated by adhesions and recurrence. Radiofrequency ablation or energy delivery (RF or the Stretta procedure) is a new method for treating GERD. This study is the first report describing the use of the Stretta procedure in pediatric patients.
Methods: Six patients who underwent previous gastroesophageal surgery presented with recurrent GERD. Medical records were reviewed and the severity of reflux graded using a modified scoring system. All underwent RF and were graded for GERD at 6 months postprocedure.
Results: Mean operating time was 80 +/- 12 minutes. Mean age at initial operation was 12 +/- 4 years and for the RF, 18.0 +/- 3.4 years. All patients were discharged as outpatients. Early complications occurred in one child with self-resolving acute gastric distension. Five of 6 patients were completely asymptomatic at 3 months after the procedure, and 3 stopped anti secretory agents. One patient was improved but still symptomatic and needed a redo fundoplication. Another required a repeat application of RF 10 months after the initial one. Mean GERD score pre-Stretta was 5.2 +/- 1.0, which improved to 1.6 +/- 1.9 at 6 months postprocedure (P <.05; paired t test).
Conclusions: Use of RF treatment of the lower esophageal sphincter is a potentially successful modality to treat recurrent GERD in children. Long-term follow-up is required.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pediatric Surgery