Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as GERD, afflicts millions of people around the world. Known as a chronic disease of the digestive system, GERD is caused by stomach acids are bile that flow back upward into the esophagus. The stomach acid or bile irritates the lining of the esophagus, which results in discomfort. Chest pain, sore throat, coughing, and a burning sensation in the chest of that is likened a heartburn spreads from the stomach through the chest and sometimes even into the mouth.
Anyone who has experienced the unpleasant symptoms and side effects of Gastro-esophageal reflux disease will benefit from one or more common GERD treatments. For some individuals, discomfort caused by GERD may affect your ability to eat, sleep, and work. Individuals who experience symptoms of GERD or similar conditions more than twice a week are encouraged to visit their doctor to help avoid complications that are more serious.
Doctors typically take a progressive set of steps in the treatment of GERD. The severity of the condition as well as the overall age and fitness of the individual is also assessed. Common approaches to GERD include but are not limited to:
Antacids Medications - These are known as H2 receptor blockers and include common brand names such as Tagamet HB, Pepcid AC, and Zantac 75. Proton pump inhibitors help to reduce and block acid production as well as heal the lining of the esophagus from constant reflex of acids and bile. Prilosec OTC and Prevacid 24 HR are just two common over-the- counter medications recommended for such treatment.
Prescribed medications may include stronger versions of over the counter medications, including Brands such as Nexium, Prolosec Rx and Aciphex. In the event that over the counter or prescribed medications don't offer beneficial results, surgery may be suggested.
One common surgery is the reinforcement of the lower esophageal sphincter. This procedure, called Nissin fundoplication, involves the tightening of the sphincter at the bottom and of the esophagus to help prevent reflux. During the procedure, the top of the stomach is wrapped around the outside of the lower esophageal tube. This procedure can be done laparoscopic lee or be a traditional open incision surgery.
Another common surgery is called the EndoCinch endoluminal gastroplication procedure. During this procedure, a surgical tool inserts a set of stitches or sutures in the stomach near the lower end of the esophageal sphincter. These sutures are then connected, creating an effective barrier that prevents stomach acids and bile from regurgitating back up into the esophagus.
Another common surgical procedure is called the Stretta System. This procedure uses high-tech electrode energy to create scar tissue on the base of the esophagus. The scar tissue reduces nerve function that responds to backwash of stomach acids. The scar tissue is also believed to help strengthen the esophageal structure and reduce the frequency and severity of acid reflux.
Travelers visiting foreign destinations such as India, Europe, and Southeast Asia may enjoy the benefits of GERD surgical procedures at savings between 30% and 50%.
A laparoscopic surgeon specializing in digestive disorders may perform a GERD procedure. Laparoscopic surgeries should be performed by an experienced surgeon trained in minimally invasive surgical procedures. Laparoscopic surgeons should be familiar with a variety of procedures utilizing laparoscopic technique and equipment in his or her field of study or specialty. Surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgeries should be board-eligible or certified practicing surgeons, Residents or Fellows in accredited programs, or can be physicians or surgeons who engage in and perform laparoscopic procedures.
For more information about GERD Procedures and where you can find the best treatment option, do not hesitate to contact us!