Chronic Acid Reflux: Top Treatments for GERD

The statistics surrounding chronic acid reflux — also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — are certainly eye-opening. To start, between 15% and 30% of the US population has GERD, including babies, children, and adults. And the condition led to almost 5 million hospitalizations as recently as 10 years ago.

In most cases, GERD can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes. But severe, chronic GERD may call for a more aggressive approach, namely reflux surgery.

At Rockwall Surgery Specialists, our highly qualified team of surgeons helps patients tackle a wide range of health problems, from gallstones to thyroid issues. As part of their surgical services, the team routinely helps patients with severe GERD find long-lasting solutions that not only relieve the discomfort, but also prevent more serious problems from developing, such as precancerous changes in the esophagus.

If you’re suffering from severe GERD, here’s a look at why reflux surgery may be your best option.

Exhausting your treatment options

If you have GERD, you’ve no doubt tried several different treatment avenues, such as medications, diet changes, and lifestyle adjustments. And these treatments are highly effective for most in keeping the symptoms of GERD at bay.

If, however, these measures are having little to no effect on your GERD, it may be time for a more aggressive approach. We may recommend surgery because if your symptoms aren’t properly addressed, GERD can lead to the following complications over time:

With surgical correction, we can offset these risks, not to mention allow you far more comfort.

Going surgical

When you visit Rockwall Surgical Specialists, we spend a considerable amount of time reviewing your symptoms and then perform an extensive physical evaluation. This may include X-rays and an upper endoscopy, which allows us to take a closer look at what’s going on inside your upper digestive tract.

These diagnostic tools help us identify the problems behind your GERD, including a hiatal hernia. This condition occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes through the opening in your diaphragm, allowing stomach acids to gain access to your esophagus. 

You may have problems with your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that closes your stomach off from your esophagus. Most cases of acid reflux occur when the LES is weakened and doesn’t close all the way, allowing stomach acids to flow back up.

If we confirm one or both of these conditions — and they’re not responding to more conservative treatments — it may be time for a Nissen fundoplication. We perform this procedure using the most minimally invasive techniques available, including laparoscopy, which reduces many of your risks and your recovery time.

During a Nissen fundoplication, we may perform one or both of the following:

To repair your hernia, we put your stomach back into place and repair the opening of your diaphragm. To strengthen your LES, we take part of your stomach and wrap it around the bottom of your esophagus, creating a more effective valve between the two areas to prevent acid from entering your throat.

If you’re struggling with GERD and conservative treatments aren’t working, contact one of our four locations in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, Forney, and Terrell, Texas, to learn more about our reflux surgery services.

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