About 20% of Americans suffer from a chronic form of acid reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Unfortunately, 90% of people with GERD have symptoms for a decade or longer — and that’s why you need a treatment that works better than long-term medication use. At the Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery, a part of SOFI Research, LLC, the esteemed team headed by Reginald Bell, MD, and Philip Woodworth, MD, offers the newest innovations in proven acid reflux treatments at their Lone Tree, Colorado, office. Call the office now or click on the online scheduling link to arrange your consultation.
Acid reflux happens when excessive amounts of digestive fluids, including stomach acids, wash up into the food pipe (the esophagus). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is diagnosed when you’ve had chronic acid reflux two or more times a week for a lengthy period.
People with acid reflux or GERD can develop health problems including:
Some people experience non-acid reflux, also called silent reflux or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). Although it doesn’t usually cause heartburn or chest pain, LPR can still cause other problems like a sore throat, cough, and swallowing difficulties.
If untreated, frequent acid exposure can cause precancerous changes to the lining of your esophagus (called Barrett’s esophagus). So it’s essential that you seek medical care as soon as you notice symptoms.
GERD is triggered by weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, the muscle valve at the bottom of your esophagus. Normally, the LES opens to allow food through and then closes to prevent reflux. But a weakened valve allows stomach acid to flow upwards.
Some people with GERD and LPR have a hiatal hernia. The top of the stomach pushes through a hole in the diaphragm, moving into your chest cavity. The hernia causes additional weakening of the LES and often causes acid reflux to worsen.
Occasional acid reflux usually responds to over-the-counter antacids. But, GERD, a chronic condition, gets worse over time. About 9 out of 10 people with GERD lasting six months or longer still have symptoms a decade after diagnosis.
Medication can become quite costly over several years, mainly because many people eventually have to increase their dosage or take more than one drug. The most common acid reflux medications, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), increase your risk of side effects like osteoporosis, heart attack, kidney disease, dementia, and pneumonia.
In addition, medication doesn’t control LPR since acid’s not involved. Because medication isn’t a long-lasting solution, the Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery team offers more advanced minimally invasive procedures, including:
These procedures work in different ways to improve the function of your LES, leading to long-lasting acid reflux relief. The Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery team has extensive experience with these procedures. They’re proud to offer their patients the newest treatment innovations for chronic acid reflux.
To learn more about treatments for chronic acid reflux, call the Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery or book your consultation with the experts online now.