Your stomach contents are highly acidic and shouldn’t contact other tissues in your body due to the risk of damage. TC Lackey, II, DO, Gregg Shore, MD, Rachel Sims, APRN, and the team at Florida Lakes Surgical in Sebring, Florida, specialize in treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes your stomach acids to flow upward into your esophagus. The result is frequent heartburn, trouble swallowing, and even worsening asthma symptoms. To consult with Florida Lakes Surgical about GERD testing and treatment options, call Florida Lakes Surgical or schedule an appointment online today.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that develops as the lower esophageal sphincter, the opening from your esophagus into your stomach, gets weaker. As a result, the acidic fluids from your stomach can flow upward into the esophagus, where they burn or damage its walls.
GERD symptoms include heartburn, a foul taste in your mouth, frequent tooth cavities, and trouble swallowing. If you only experience these symptoms occasionally, like after substantial meals, it’s called acid reflux. If you have acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have GERD.
One possible cause of GERD symptoms is a hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernias occur when a portion of your stomach bulges through an opening in the diaphragm muscle, separating your stomach from your chest area.
Your medical provider can help you explore the risk factors and behaviors that exacerbate your symptoms. If you’ve already identified foods that make your acid reflux worse, it’s best to avoid eating them. Other lifestyle and behavioral changes that may reduce GERD symptoms include:
Your provider might also reassess your medications and either adjust the dosages or change them altogether. Still, non-surgical measures might not be enough to treat your GERD.
For severe cases of GERD, surgical intervention may be necessary. Before recommending care, the Florida Lakes Surgical team may perform a pH test for your esophagus.
PH tests can give them information about your acid reflux and how well the acid clears from the esophagus after the symptoms subside.
Manometry, another test to evaluate your esophagus’ function, measures the contractions of the esophageal walls when you swallow and the operation of your lower esophageal sphincter.
After performing necessary tests, Florida Lakes Surgical may treat GERD with:
TIF doesn’t involve any incisions and therefore results in an easier recovery than other procedures. Your surgeon inserts a flexible endoscope through your mouth and down toward your lower esophagus.
Using a robotic device, they rebuild the valve between your stomach and esophagus by manipulating the tissue and placing fasteners to keep its structure as it heals.
LINX® is a laparoscopic procedure. Through small incisions, your surgeon inserts a laparoscope with a lighted camera so they can see and manipulate small instruments through the other incisions.
They place a strand of magnetic metal spheres around the lower esophagus to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter without closing it off.
If your GERD symptoms come from a hiatal hernia, you might need surgery to repair it. Your surgeon pulls the herniated portion of your stomach back through the opening before closing the hole in your diaphragm. They might also restructure your lower esophageal sphincter.
If you experience GERD symptoms frequently, call Florida Lakes Surgical to schedule an appointment or book a treatment consultation online today.