Introduction into the NHS of magnetic sphincter augmentation: an innovative surgical therapy for reflux - results and challenges

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INTRODUCTIONGastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common, chronic debilitating condition. Surgical management traditionally involves fundoplication. Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) is a new definitive treatment. We describe our experience of introducing this innovative therapy into NHS practice and report the early clinical outcomes.METHODSMSA was introduced into NHS practice following successful acceptance of a cost-effective business plan and close observation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations for new procedures, including a carefully planned prospective data collection over a two-year follow-up period.RESULTSForty-seven patients underwent MSA over the 40-month period. Reflux health-related quality of life (GERD-HRQL) was significantly improved after the procedure and maintained at one- and two-year (P < 0.0001) follow-up. Drug dependency went from 100% at baseline to 2.6% and 8.7% after one and two years. High levels of patient satisfaction were reported. There were no adverse events.CONCLUSIONSMSA is highly effective in the treatment of uncomplicated GORD, with durable results and an excellent safety profile. This laparoscopic, minimally invasive procedure provides a good alternative for patients where surgical anatomy is unaltered. Our experience demonstrates that innovative technology can be incorporated into NHS practice with an acceptable business plan and compliance with NICE recommendations.

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