Just ask Daniel Rowe what heartburn pain is like. It was his constant companion for over 15 years.
"It was pretty much a constant discomfort," says Rowe.
It's estimated that one in six Americans experiences problem with heartburn or gerd-gastro esophogeal reflux disease. Daniel knew he was at risk, because his father suffered with it for years. He also understood that chronic heartburn carried risks he wanted to eliminate.
"The risk of developing something else, like cancer or a lot of the medicines. Many of them are new and their long term effects are not yet known."
Daniel was referred to IU Health Surgeon, Dr Don Selzer. Dr. Selzer suggested Daniel consider a procedure called muse. It's a minimally invasive technique using titanium staples to attach the stomach to the wall of the esophagus.
"It basically reinforces the normal anatomy that is there to prevent reflux from occurring," says Dr. Selzer.
In many cases of reflux the problem is a dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter, which is the valve at the base of the esophagus. The procedure, performed with the muse system, combines microvisual , ultrasonic and surgical stapling capabilities into one device. And that allows the surgeon to complete the procedure in close to an hour. Dr. Selzer inserts the muse/endoscope into the esophagus. He carefully staples the stomach wall to the esophagus using the titanium staples. He'll usually do a series of staples in three to four locations around the esophagus.
"It provides a minimally invasive approach to treating patients and many times gets them off medications."
Dan is among the two dozen patients who've had the muse procedure at IU Health. He's had a good result.
"It's just drastically improved my quality of life," says Rowe.
Dr. Selzer says the muse works best in patients who are not obese and who don't have a hiatal hernia. There are two similar devices: one made in Israel the other in the U.S. And there are other more invasive surgical techniques available to gerd patients
For more information on the muse device, click here.