What Is the Reza Band for Nighttime Reflux and Heartburn?

Device Assists in the Closure of the Upper Esophageal Sphincter

A man suffers from heartburn at night without the Reza Band
A man suffers from heartburn at night without the Reza Band. Getty Images

If you experience chronic heartburn or reflux at nighttime, you may be interested in learning about a novel treatment called the Reza Band. What is the Reza Band and how does it prevent reflux? Learn about this device, who should consider using it, and effective alternatives.

What Is the Reza Band?

The Reza Band is a novel wearable acid reflux control device that assists in the closure of the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) by applying external pressure to the throat during sleep.

It is worn as a band around the neck with a pad that applies pressure to the cricoid cartilage, just below the thyroid cartilage (commonly known as the Adam’s apple). This effectively closes a route for reflux to occur.

It is meant to provide relief from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially when acid reflux occurs during sleep. By closing the UES, it prevents the flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. This may occur due to the natural relaxation of the UES in sleep. This seems to be exacerbated when reflux symptoms are present during the day.

Nocturnal heartburn may also be triggered by obstructive sleep apnea. With the collapse of the upper airway, the muscles contract to reopen the airway and a negative pressure is created that can draw the contents of the stomach into the esophagus. If present, sleep apnea should be treated first and this may resolve the condition of reflux at night.

Who Should Consider Using a Reza Band?

If you experience the chronic symptoms of nocturnal heartburn or reflux, you may be interested in considering the Reza Band. It may be helpful in relieving other daytime symptoms, including:

  • Heartburn
  • Throat irritation or clearing
  • Cough
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Globus (sensation of something sticking in the throat)
  • Postnasal drip
  • Recurrent pneumonia

In addition, it might be an attractive option for individuals who experience aerophagia when using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat their sleep apnea. The closed sphincter may prevent excessive air from the CPAP from entering the stomach, leading to undesired distention and gas.

The Reza Band has not been evaluated for use in children.

The Effects of the Reza Band

The lightweight frame of the Reza Band includes a small cushion, clasp, and a comfort dial for easy adjustment. It must be initially fitted in a clinic to ensure maximal comfort and effectiveness. It is FDA approved and is available by prescription only at a cost of $299.

It is attractive as a non-invasive, non-surgical, and non-pill option. It feels like wearing a shirt collar that is buttoned tightly at the neck. Importantly, the ability to breathe and swallow remains unaffected by the device.

Many people who have used the device report improvement within the first 2 weeks of use.

Clinical research trials suggest an 86% success rate in relieving associated symptoms without serious or unexpected adverse events. Overall, 75% of patients reported satisfaction with the treatment.

What Are the Alternatives to Using a Reza Band?

There are other treatments for nocturnal heartburn or reflux that may be pursued. Sleeping with the head elevated, such as with a wedge pillow, may also be helpful. Medications, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec, can be very effective. If there are other symptoms associated with sleep apnea, this should be diagnosed and treated.

If you have persistent symptoms of nocturnal reflux, speak with your doctor about the treatments that might be most effective in controlling and treating your condition.

Sources:

Shaker R, et al. “Prevention of esophagopharyngeal reflux by augmenting the upper esophageal sphincter pressure barrier.” Laryngoscope. 2014 Oct;124(10):2268-74.

Vaezi MF, et al. “A Multi-Center Prospective Study of the Upper Esophageal Sphincter (UES) Assist Device for the Treatment of Estraesophageal Reflux.” Gastroenterology. May 2014, Vol. 146, Issue 5, S-128.

Silvers S. “Nonrandomized prospective study of an upper esophageal sphincter (UES) Assist Device for treating laryngopharyngeal reflux.” Otolaryngol: Head and Neck Surg. Sept 2014, Vol 151(S1), P44.

Reza Band UES Assist Device.” Last accessed: September 20, 2015.

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