Health & Wellness

Weary of Reflux Pain? Consider Surgery.


The fall and winter holidays will soon be here, taunting you with all the festive foods and drinks that trigger painful acid reflux symptoms like heartburn, chest pressure and burning sensations in the throat. When you suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) it can be hard to get into the spirit of the season.Asian man suffering from heartburn

You’re not alone. Millions of people in the U.S. have heartburn every day, seriously affecting their quality of life. You may already be following your doctor’s advice to adopt a healthier lifestyle. You’re avoiding spicy food, alcohol and coffee to keep reflux in check. You may be taking prescriptions to neutralize the stomach acids bubbling up into the esophagus, causing these painful symptoms.

The problem is that these remedies don’t always work as they should. Medications may only control some of the symptoms. A patient may not want to remain on antacids, blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for the rest of their lives because of long-term risks. Or the symptoms are just very, very bad causing sufferers to lose sleep, cough incessantly and have difficulty catching their breath.

You’ll be glad to know that reflux surgery is an effective solution. Surgery strengthens the ring of muscle called the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). When you have reflux, the LES, located between the esophagus and the stomach, isn’t closing tightly enough. After surgery, the LES works again as a one-way valve, letting nourishment into the stomach and preventing backwards flow into the throat. When acid stays in the stomach where it belongs, painful symptoms disappear.

At Roper St. Francis Healthcare, our surgeons specialize in reflux surgery. We are experts in the minimally invasive techniques with excellent outcomes. Reflux surgery can be done using a laparoscope and usually requires only a short hospital stay.

Don’t let the upcoming holiday meals make you feel deprived. With the year nearing its end, you may have already met your deductibles or have FSA funds to spend on elective procedures. Request an appointment and find out how reflux surgery can help you look forward to a new year, feeling like a normal person again.

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