What is Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or “GERD,” is a condition where the stomach’s acidic juices backflow into the esophagus, causing an uncomfortable burning sensation just below the breastbone.
A muscular ring, or sphincter, usually tightens to clamp off this backsplash. But in some people, the sphincter is weak or relaxes too easily, allowing food or liquid in the stomach to flow back into the esophagus, causing irritation.
Symptoms of GERD
- Heartburn or a burning pain in the chest (under the breastbone)
- Regurgitation or "reflux" of stomach contents into the esophagus or throat
- A sensation that food is stuck behind the breastbone
- Discomfort that is increased by bending, stooping, lying down or eating
- Pain that occurs or worsens at night
- Pain relieved by antacids
- Cough, hoarseness, and sore throat
UR Medicine is one of the initial U.S. surgery sites chosen to offer the new LINX Reflux Management System by Torax Medical Inc.Learn more
UR Medicine's Treatments for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Patients with GERD are advised to make dietary and lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating smaller meals, and avoiding certain types of foods that may trigger symptoms.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications are available, including antacids, H2 blockers (famotidine), and proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole) for those who don’t respond to dietary and lifestyle changes.
Surgical treatment is usually only for people who have continuing symptoms of chronic GERD or a large hiatal hernia, a condition in which part of the stomach pushes upward through the diaphragm.
Surgery is also an option for people who cannot follow their recommended treatment or who want to avoid a lifetime of medical therapy.
Surgical options for GERD include:
- Nissen Fundoplication – Most often done through tiny openings cut by the surgeon (laparoscopically), this common procedure for GERD typically takes 60 to 90 minutes and requires a one-night hospital stay. Most patients are able to return to work in two to four weeks. After surgery, 90 to 95% of patients have good control of typical GERD symptoms.
- Endolumenal Procedures – These surgeries are performed through the mouth, working within the “tube” of the digestive tract. No abdominal cuts are required. The surgery usually takes 45 to 60 minutes and requires a one-night hospital stay. Most patients are able to return to work in one to two weeks. Following surgery, 60 to 80% of patients have good control of typical GERD symptoms. However, these procedures are not recommended for people with a moderate to large hiatal hernia or the condition known as Barrett’s esophagus.
- LINX Reflux Management System – Only available at select sites, including UR Medicine, this new procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to implant the magnetic “ring” around the lower end of the esophagus. Most patients are able to return to work in one to two weeks. LINX is not an option for people with more than a 3-centimeter hiatal hernia or Barrett’s esophagus.
What Sets Us Apart?
We are local pioneers for innovative procedures such as:
- Management of GERD and esophageal motility disorders, including:
- Endoscopic approaches
- Robotic/minimally invasive myotomies and anti-reflux procedures
- Minimally invasive lung, esophageal, and gastric surgery, including robotic procedures:
- Lung resections
- Tracheal surgery
- Esophageal resections (MIE)
We offer state-of-the-art testing laboratories, and we’ve promoted foregut testing around the world. We’ve also played an important role in the clinical development of acid reflux testing such as ambulatory pH and impedance motility testing.
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Ambulatory Care Center at Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, Ambulatory Care Center, 4th & 5th Floor
Rochester, NY 14642