Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease. GERD occurs when stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD.

The most common symptom of reflux ​disease is heartburn. However, reflux can also ​produce a wide variety of symptoms ​including sore throat, hoarseness, dental erosion, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, cough, regurgitation, chest pain​, and asthma.

It is estimated that more than twenty million Americans suffer from the classic symptoms of heartburn.  When these signs and symptoms occur at least twice each week or interfere with your daily life, or when your doctor can see damage to your esophagus, you may be diagnosed with GERD.

Negative Effects of GERD

Some patients are unresponsive to or require long term medical therapy which can be costly and may not prevent long-term complications of GERD such as ulcers, strictures of the esophagus, a change in the lining of the esophagus (Barrett's Disease, which is pre-malignant) asthma, aspiration, bronchospasm, mouth or dental problems and laryngeal malignancy (cancer).

How is it Treated?

Most people can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications such as antacids, H2 antagonist, (i.e., Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid) or the new protein pump inhibitors (i.e., Prilosec).  But some people with GERD may need stronger medications, or even surgery, to reduce symptoms.

Surgical Institute provides surgical treatment of GERD including the Nissen Fundoplication and LINX procedures.