Chinese Medical Leader Travels to Baltimore to Undergo Stretta Procedure
On October 9, Dr. Mark Noar at The Heartburn and Reflux Center in Towson, MD performed the Stretta Procedure on a well-known Chinese dignitary and respected member of the Chinese Academic Committee of Sciences, Professor Zhong Gao Wang. Dr. Wang is the Director of the GERD Center of the 2nd Military University Hospital in Beijing, China, the first of its kind in China. (Editor's note: Stretta was made by Curon Medical, a former sponsor of Reflux1.com)
According to Professor Wang (pronounced “Wong”), approximately 7 percent of the adults from the population of 1.3 billion in China suffer from daily GERD symptoms. Professor Wang states, “In China the incidence of GERD is on the rise. The toll that chronic reflux takes on patients is of major concern because it can lead to more devastating diseases and upper respiratory breathing disorders such as asthma.” In fact, in China Prof. Wang has seen especially large numbers of patients with life threatening lung diseases caused by GERD. He consequently established the GERD Center in April 2006.
“GERD respects no national boundaries or medical disciplines,” states Dr. Noar, who founded and directs the Chinese-American Institute for the Study of GERD and Reflux. The Institute was created to advance the exchange of science and techniques between the U.S. and China and facilitate the training and integration of professional organizations and practitioners – including surgeons, gastroenterologists, anesthesiologists, pulmonologists, allergists, ENT specialists, and other caregivers – into the field. Currently, the Chinese-American Institute sponsors research in the field and facilitates training for physicians, nurses, and anesthesia personnel in China as well as in exchange with the Research Center in Towson, MD. As a result of his efforts, Dr. Noar was appointed as the exclusive international consultant to the GERD Center and Chinese Academic Committee.
Suffering from severe asthma for most of his life, Professor Wang himself did not know that it was caused by his GERD condition. He tried countless combinations of drug therapy and following a near fatal episode, had a surgical fundoplication procedure in March 2006. After five months his illness returned – and he called Dr. Noar to schedule his own surgery. Dr. Noar says: “He [Dr. Wang] has severe pulmonary disease due to his GERD, so it was the diciest procedure… but it went very well.”
The Heartburn and Reflux Research Center in Towson, MD has performed more than 500 Stretta procedures to date, adding to the more than 10,000 procedures that have been performed worldwide. According to Dr. Noar, “the most important thing people should know about the Stretta procedure is that it is the least invasive, least damaging, most durable thing you can do for your reflux.” The procedure works by delivering radiofrequency energy to the gastro-esophageal region.
Dr. Noar says this technique was originally used in the heart to correct abnormal rhythms. Because nerves are the primary source of disease in both cases, the heart and gastro-esophageal sphincter benefit from the same technology. Results are impressive – there is an 85 percent success rate five years later and the patient is fully functional one day after the 14-minute surgery.
Interested in more about Dr. Noar? Read a full-length interview here.
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