Acid Reflux Treatment

Dr. Doucette and Dr. Foreman use their knowledge in the latest developments for treating GERD to create relief from heartburn for their patients.

While heartburn is a relatively common condition, it can be long-lasting, uncomfortable, and difficult to treat with over the counter options. Frequent heartburn or acid reflux are symptoms of a potentially damaging disease called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a condition that stems from increasing or chronic heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. GERD is a painful and chronic disease which can precede esophageal cancer, so it is crucial it is treated before it progresses. Our practice offers several effective treatments for GERD. GERD can be caused by a weakened and malfunctioning Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), which is a muscle that closes off the esophagus from the stomach. When it is functioning normally the LES closes after swallowing, which blocks stomach acid from going up into the esophagus. When the LES malfunctions, it allows stomach acid and food back up into the esophagus causing pain and even esophageal damage. In some cases, a hiatal hernia causes acid reflux which can also lead to GERD.

Symptoms of GERD

GERD presents itself as heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, including any of the following:

  • Continual heartburn
  • Difficulty eating and/or swallowing
  • Acid erosion on teeth
  • Chronic cough or asthma
  • Nighttime cough
  • Regurgitation
  • Chest pain

Lifestyle Changes

The first line, non-invasive way to treat acid reflux is to make lifestyle changes. Certain foods, drinks and even body position can make heartburn worse. Making the following changes can help reduce acid reflux symptoms:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 25
  • Cutting out fatty or acidic foods
  • Eliminating alcoholic drinks
  • Avoiding bending over or lying down immediately after eating

Medication

Another conservative approach to treating heartburn is medication. Sometimes medication effectiveness wears off or the dosage needs to be altered, so we carefully monitor the progress of our patients using heartburn medication. There are several different medications that target acid reflux including proton pump inhibitors, antacids, and prokinetics. During a consultation, Dr. Doucette or Dr. Foreman will be able to discuss which medications might be an option for you.

LINX® System

The LINX® System is a minimally invasive procedure which provides a long term solution to GERD. Sometimes reflux happens when the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) is weak and allows stomach acid or food up into the esophagus. With this innovative procedure, magnetic linked ring of beads are placed around the LES to help hold it closed to prevent reflux. After swallowing, the ring will open to let food and liquids pass through and then magnetically close again.

Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication

An established procedure for treating acid reflux is the laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. In this procedure, part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus like a collar in order to strengthen the LES. This reduces heartburn by blocking stomach acid from going up into the esophagus.

Hiatal Hernia Repair

Another cause of GERD is a hiatal hernia, which occurs when part of the stomach pushes through a part of the diaphragm, called the hiatus, and into the chest. This is often a very painful condition which can make acid reflux symptoms worse. Our practice fixes hiatal hernias using a minimally invasive and effective laparoscopic procedure.

Schedule a Heartburn Consultation

If you have been diagnosed with GERD, hiatal hernia, or if you are suffering from chronic heartburn or acid reflux, schedule a consultation with Dr. Doucette or Dr. Foreman. They work with each patient to create a personalized plan for treating and ending heartburn.