GERD -Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease
Gastrointestinal reflux disease, or GERD, is condition occurring in people of all ages, including infants and children. It occurs when lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and fails to keep contents within the stomach. It may be necessary to consult with a general surgeon if a person experiences persistent reflux. After discussing a person’s symptoms and conducting a series of diagnostic tests, such as an endoscopy, the physician can make a diagnosis and develop a plan for treating and managing the condition.
Did you know…
If not treated, this disease can lead to serious complications over time, including hoarseness, chest congestion, esophagitis or even Barrett’s esophagus.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease may be the result of one of many different problems. Reflux is triggered by certain foods for some people, such as carbonated drinks and foods that are highly acidic or high in fat content. For others, GERD may be a problem related to an anatomical abnormality, an allergy or some other underlying condition.
What are the symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux disease?
A person with GERD will often experience regurgitation after consuming a meal. Symptoms may also include frequent swallowing and discomfort in the upper digestive tract (heartburn).
What are the treatments for GERD?
Treatments vary from person to person depending on the cause and severity of the condition, as well as the person’s age. Elevating the head of a person’s bed and avoiding eating in the two hours before bed can help improve symptoms.
When a person experiences persistent GERD that does not respond to lifestyle and dietary modifications, medical intervention may be necessary. This may include the use of certain medications, such as H2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors.
If your GERD (acid reflux) symptoms are severe and cannot be eased with medicine or lifestyle changes, your general surgeon may suggest surgery. Surgery for GERD is called fundoplication or Nissen fundoplication.
You are in good hands with the Board Certified General Surgeons at Mat-Su Surgical Associates who perform both of these minimally invasive surgeries:
- Laparoscopic Anti-Reflux Surgery (Nissen Fundoplication)
- da Vinci® Surgery for Anti-Reflux ( Nissen Fundoplication)
When diagnosis and treatment are delayed, chronic GERD can increase the risk for serious health complications, including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.