GERD consists of heartburn and acid reflux occurrences that happen at least three times a week and cannot be treated through dietary and other lifestyle changes alone. Patients with GERD have a damaged lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. This is the valve that sits at the bottom of the esophagus, closing of the esophagus from the stomach.
When the LES malfunctions, the valve does not close quickly enough or at all, and allows the highly acidic digestive juices to rise up into the esophagus, ultimately resulting in heartburn and acid reflux. If left untreated, serious complications can occur: inflammation and ulceration in the esophagus can lead to difficulty swallowing, and even worse, chronic GERD has been linked to a condition called Barrett's esophagus which can lead to esophageal cancer. While medications are sometimes useful at reducing the pain associated with acid reflux, it often masks a larger problem. The only way to cure GERD is by repairing the LES with acid reflux surgery.
Causes of acid reflux
- Being overweight or obese
- Hiatal hernia
- Eating a heavy meal and then lying down
- Consuming irritating foods or beverages- citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, fatty foods, carbonated drinks
Symptoms of reflux vary, and may include:
- Burning in the throat or in the chest
- Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia
- Chronic sore throat or cough
- Chest discomfort, specifically after eating or lying down
- Regurgitation of stomach contents into throat or mouth
What are my surgical options?
A variety of safe, effective reflux surgery options are available including traditional fundoplication, Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) and bariatric surgery.
Fundoplication surgery involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the esophagus and sewing it into place. The new, narrow passage serves as an anti-reflux valve.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) has the same result as a traditional fundoplication, but without making incisions. The surgeon enters the stomach through the mouth and brings the stomach up around the esophagus to create the anti-reflux valve.
Bariatric Surgery is an appropriate reflux treatment for some patients. Weight loss can reduce reflux symptoms.
Treatment for GERD
With minimally invasive surgery, our local surgeons are able to repair the ring of muscle that prevents stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus and causing acid reflux. The surgery is performed through tiny incisions in the abdomen, which results in faster recovery and less pain for patients.
Our board certified surgeons have years of experience and success with this minimally invasive procedure. They are committed to providing patients with the best possible care and surgical results, including a quick recovery.
Coliseum Northside Hospital specializes in this minimally invasive procedure to cure GERD. Situated in North Macon, Coliseum Northside Hospital provides the latest equipment and highest level of patient care for all medical procedures. From convenient parking to individual recovery rooms, Coliseum Northside Hospital is committed to quality care.