The Stretta procedure is an alternative to both medical and surgical treatment for patients with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).The Stretta procedure utilizes radio frequency energy to tighten the wave between the stomach and the esophagus reducing GERD symptoms. 

Stretta Procedure Preparation

  • No food or liquids (this includes water) minimally 6 hours prior to the procedure.
  • You may also have diet and/or medication restrictions the week prior to the exam. Please refer to your physician for detailed instructions. 
  • Plan to take the day off from work for the exam.
  • Plan to have someone you know drive you home. Since the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation, you will be instructed to not drive a car or return to work until the next day.
  • The GI Lab staff will attempt to contact you the evening before your procedure to answer any questions you may have.

Pre-Stretta Procedure Expectations

  • You may be expected to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You may have an intravenous line placed, since the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation.
  • You will be asked if there is a responsible person to drive you home after the exam.
  • The procedure usually takes about 60 minutes.
  • During the exam, there is often a feeling of pressure in the abdominal area.
  • Your physician may give you medication to help you relax and better tolerate the exam.
  • Patients usually lie on their left side.
  • During the procedure the physician may take biopsies (small tissue samples) or remove polyps (growths on the lining of the stomach).
  • A specially designed, flexible, catheter will be passed through your mouth, into your esophagus. Radiofrequency energy is delivered by four small needles into the muscle; several areas in the esophagus and stomach are treated.

Post-Stretta Procedure Expectations

  • After the procedure is completed you will recover for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • You may experience a sore throat after the procedure.
  • Once you have met the discharge criteria, the physician will discuss with you the preliminary findings.
  • After the recovery period patients are able to go home and usually eat right away.
  • Diet and/or medication restrictions may be given to certain patients depending on the findings of the exam.
  • Since the stomach is expanded with air during the procedure, you may be bloated and will be encouraged to burp up any air that you may feel.
  •  Occasionally patients may experience tightness during the first week following the procedure or may experience increase sensation of bloating.
  • You will be limited to full liquids for 24 hours and a soft diet for 1 week.
  • You should crush medications when possible following the procedure and avoid all oral aspirin or NSAIDS. You must avoid any insertion of nasogastric tubes or instrumentation of the esophagus for one month and will be provided with a stretta information card to be carried and presented to any emergency health care provider.
  • Patients are provided discharge instructions to take home.


The nature of our practice is to provide our patients the utmost in care and services. We ask ahead of time to please excuse any delay in care. Our commitment is to provide you with the same careful attention and care as soon as possible. You can expect excellent care and service in the GI Labs of NorthShore University HealthSystem.

This procedure is available at the Evanston Hospital GI Lab.
To schedule an appointment call 847.570.2298.

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