Following a positive diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), typical treatments are medication, diet changes and lifestyle tweaks or surgery.

The Reflux Band (also known as the Reza Band) is a non-medicinal, non-surgical device designed to reduce symptoms associated with LPR – also known as silent or airways reflux – including chronic throat irritation, cough, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing and post nasal drip.

What is the Reflux/Reza Band?
The band is a device, manufactured by Somna Therapeutics, that is worn around the neck while you sleep. The band aims to stop the regurgitation of stomach contents from passing through the upper oesophageal sphincter (UES) – the muscle at the top of your oesophagus that opens when you swallow and should otherwise remain closed – by adding a small amount of pressure (between 20-30 mmHg) on the UES.

Somna Therapeutics is a medical device company founded by Tom Shannon, Nick Maris, Jeff Harris, and Reza Shaker in March 2012 in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

What happens when I breathe or swallow?
According to the manufacturer Somna Therapeutics, using the band feels like wearing a shirt collar buttoned with no effect on breathing or swallowing.

How is it fitted?
The Reza Band is positioned around your neck with cushions positioned over the cricoid cartilage area. A Comfort Dial allows you to slightly adjust the band for comfort.

How much does it cost and where can I buy it?
The band is available in the US for $169 and must be prescribed by your doctor to ensure it fits properly and is comfortable. In the UK it is available via GDS Medtech for £299. You can find other international distributors on the Reza Band website.

In May 2018, Somna Therapeutics announced it would rename the Reza Band to Reflux Band and revealed it would soon release an additional product option with smartphone connectivity.

How effective is it?
According to studies, the band can significantly reduce the symptoms of LPR within the first two weeks of use. 86 per cent of patients had a successful outcome with significant reduction in symptoms after two weeks. Physicians reported being satisfied with the band 92 per cent of the time and 75 per cent of patients reported being satisfied or very satisfied.

Are there any associated problems?
Problems such as skin irritation, pain and choking have been reported by a tiny minority but these symptoms were generally mild and short in duration. According to research, there has been no effect on heart rate, blood pressure or cardiac rhythm either when the band is placed as intended over the cricoid cartilage, or when it is laterally displaced, over the jugular and carotid vasculature.

You are not advised to use the Reza Band if you have an implanted pacemaker, implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a vagus nerve stimulator, or other similar devices implanted in your chest or neck.

Professor Peter Dettmar says: “REZA Band has undergone clinical evaluation in the USA and Peptest was used to identity patients who were diagnosed with LPR and who would benefit from using REZA Band. There is a publication for this study.”

“Our advice would be to use Peptest to firstly diagnose the presence of LPR and if LPR is diagnosed, then discuss the option of using the REZA BAND with a doctor.”

Disclaimer: This blog post is for information only. Peptest is not affiliated with Somna Therapeutics nor is this an endorsement of the Reza Band. You should always consult your doctor prior to undertaking any treatment for reflux.