December 8, 2021 | 6:30-8:00PM | Hackensack UMC at Pascack Valley
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January 12, 2022 | 6:30-8:00PM | Hackensack UMC at Pascack Valley
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GERD/Acid Reflux Surgery
- Incidence: affects 20 percent of the US population.
- Medications: will provide incomplete control of symptoms in up to 40 percent of the patients.
Long term medications have serious side effects, such as osteoporosis (bone fractures), infections, pneumonia, kidney disease and dementia.
- Anti-reflux surgery provides better relief of GERD symptoms than medications.
A little heartburn is normal, especially after eating foods known to cause it, like spicy foods, citrus or chocolate. However, when it happens frequently, or after eating foods not known to cause heartburn, that could mean a chronic condition known as acid reflux or gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD).
What Is GERD?
Aside from belching or vomiting, the esophagus is mainly a one-way track. The stomach contents are not supposed to go back toward the mouth, and a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closes off the esophagus to prevent that. In GERD, the LES is weakened, allowing food or stomach acid to creep back up the esophagus.
Causes and Symptoms of GERD
- Chest pain
- Chronic coughing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Regurgitation of food or liquid
- Sleep disruption
- Lung infections
- Tooth erosion
Risk factors for developing GERD include:
- Certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin
- Consuming caffeine or alcohol
- Eating Fatty, fried or spicy food
- Hiatal hernia
LINX was approved by the FDA in 2012. It is implanted laparoscopically and boasts a short hospital stay and low rate of complications. Best of all, its short recovery time means an almost immediate improvement in symptoms and a very brief interruption of your daily life.
Most Nissen fundoplication procedures are now performed laparoscopically, with small incisions, small tools and a flexible camera called a laparoscope attached to a video monitor. Like LINX, hospital stays are brief, recovery time is short and pain levels are low.
With a Nissen fundoplication, the fundus is wrapped 360 degrees around the esophagus. With some patients, however, this full wrap can cause problems swallowing. These patients may have more success with a partial 270-degree wrap, a procedure known as Toupet fundoplication.
Medicine for Treating GERD
However, medications have drawbacks. They treat the symptoms as opposed to the root cause of LES relaxation, and most must be taken for life. Some cause side effects—antacids can cause diarrhea and constipation. PPIs, while generally considered more effective than H2 blockers, put people at greater risk of fractures, chronic kidney disease and early death.