Background: A new endoscopic intraluminal procedure (valvuloplasty) was designed to provide a simple, easy approach to the cardia and to correct and augment any mechanical deficiencies present. The feasibility, durability, and efficacy of this procedure was tested in 13 baboons. Methods: The valvuloplasty consisted of an intussusception of the gastroesophageal junction into the stomach to create a nipple-type valve. The configuration of the valve was maintained with eight staples and stability was aided by an intramural injection of sodium morrhuate. Gastrointestinal endoscopy and esophageal manometry were performed before and after the procedure. Competency was determined as the intragastric pressure (yield pressure) and volume (yield volume) needed to result in equalization of gastric and esophageal pressure while distending the stomach with water. Comparisons were made with a group of normal baboons (n = 10). Results: All baboons had a normal eating pattern with none showing any evidence of vomiting or regurgitation. Endoscopic circumferential integrity of the valves was 86% at 6 months. The median lower esophageal sphincter length in the valvuloplasty group was significantly (p <9.01) increased after the procedure from 21 mm to 30 mm. The median yield pressure (22.1 mm Hg) and yield volume (1525 ml) of the valvuloplasty group was significantly (p <0.01) greater than the controls (14 mm Hg and 859 ml). Conclusions: The valvuloplasty is simple, safe, and durable. It augments mechanical function of the cardia and improves competency.
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