Central Florida is International Destination for Unique, State-of-the-Art Procedure to Treat Common Digestive Ailment

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Patient from Kuwait is first who has traveled overseas to U.S. for this innovative treatment of GERD, a condition suffered by millions of Americans. Surgeon performing procedure has highest success rate of any physician in the country.

Professional Gastroenterology & Surgery Associates

The United States continues to be a leader in groundbreaking medical services and a draw for patients all over the world to get treatment

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A patient from Kuwait selected Central Florida as the place to seek relief from a chronic condition that affects as many as 19 million Americans. On Tuesday, July 7, Professional Gastroenterology & Surgical Associates (PGSA) physicians Dr. William Todd Overcash, M.D. and Dr. Akram Ismail, M.D. will perform an incisionless trans-oral surgery to correct the patient's gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux.

"The United States continues to be a leader in groundbreaking medical services and a draw for patients all over the world to get treatment," said Dr. Ismail. "We are so pleased that PGSA can offer our patients the renown expertise that Dr. Overcash provides working with an accomplished team of Gastrointestinal experts, making Central Florida an international destination for people seeking relief from their digestive ailments."

The woman, who is in her 50's, has long suffered from GERD, which happens when a muscle at the end of the esophagus does not close properly allowing the stomach contents to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.

GERD, which is treatable, can often lead to more serious health problems including ulcers, cancer and pneumonia. GERD is often treated with surgery and/or medications that have side effects and can lose their effectiveness over time.

"I was part of a 2008 study that found 85% of patients remain symptom-free and off daily GERD medication at one year after undergoing this trans-oral fundoplication surgery," said Dr. Overcash. "This incisionless technique can change the patient's quality of life by allowing them to tolerate food and beverages they couldn't before without reliance on medications."

The patient previously underwent corrective surgeries in other countries without success. She sought out Dr. Overcash and PGSA because of his leadership in performing the approximately 20 minute, outpatient procedure using the innovative EsophyX device.

According to EsophyX's manufacturer EndoGastric Solutions, Dr. Overcash is the leader of natural orifice surgeries in the United States and has performed more successful procedures using the device than any other surgeon in the U.S. In August 2008, Dr. Overcash became the first ever to complete the incisionless trans-oral surgery on a child. The 10 year-old boy had suffered from chronic GERD for years and was successfully treated by Dr. Overcash.

The trans-oral surgery will take place at PGSA's surgery center, located at 13838 US Highway 441 in The Villages. PGSA also has offices in Leesburg at 8110 CR 44, Leg A, and in Clermont, at 255 Citrus Tower Boulevard, Suite 208A. To schedule an appointment with a PGSA physician, call 352-323-8868.

About PGSA

Professional Gastroenterology & Surgery Associates' is recognized as one of the region's most progressive practices for patient care and education relating to gastrointestinal conditions, surgery, weight loss and general clinical and surgical pathology issues.
It is PGSA's mission to resolve diseases and disorders using the most innovative therapeutic techniques and surgical technology. Learn more about PGSA at http://www.pgsacfl.com.

Editor's Note
The procedure is scheduled for Tuesday morning, July 7 at PGSA, 13838 US Highway 441 in Lady Lake/TheVillages. Time is TBD.

Video and images will be available post-surgery if unable to attend the procedure.

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