call icon Call insurance icon Check My Insurance location icon Shop<br>Online

Heartburn Treatment

Many people experience occasional heartburn, an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest often attributed to indigestion. But what happens when heartburn is frequent?

Schedule an Appointment

Heartburn Treatment

Many people experience occasional heartburn, an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest often attributed to indigestion. But what happens when heartburn is frequent?

Schedule an Appointment

Chronic heartburn can significantly affect quality of life and it can even indicate a more serious health problem. At Alabama Surgical Associates, our heartburn specialists are experienced in diagnosing the causes of chronic heartburn and offering personalized treatment plans to provide long-lasting relief from the discomfort of heartburn.

woman suffering from GERD

How is GERD Diagnosed?

If you suffer from frequent heartburn, it is important to see an experienced GERD specialist who can diagnose the root cause of your heartburn symptoms to determine if GERD treatment is necessary. If left untreated, GERD or chronic acid reflux can cause tooth decay, esophageal erosion, and can even lead to esophageal cancer. The doctor at Alabama Surgical Associates use a number of advanced tests to find your diagnosis and create a treatment plan. Non-surgical diagnostic tools may include a barium swallow radiograph (also known as an “upper GI”), an endoscopy, or pH monitoring.

Treatments for Acid Reflux and GERD

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

medication icon


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 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.

LINX device

gastric bypass icon

Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass surgery is commonly known as an effective weight loss surgery, but it may also help patients find relief from acid reflux. In a gastric bypass procedure, the surgeon divides the stomach into two sections and bypasses the lower stomach and upper intestine; the reduced upper stomach is rerouted and the digestive tract shortened. Medical studies indicate that gastric bypass can alleviate GERD symptoms, in addition to promoting weight loss and offering other health benefits. Excess weight is a risk factor for the development of GERD, so patients who struggle with obesity and acid reflux may be candidates for gastric bypass. Depending on individual medical history and health goals, gastric bypass surgery may be an ideal treatment option for patients with GERD.

Learn more about gastric bypass.

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.

LES procedure diagram

hiatal hernia stomach icon

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 Your Heartburn Consultation

The Alabama Surgical Associates team is dedicated to helping patients in the Huntsville area live healthier lives. Contact us with any questions about heartburn or GERD treatment, or to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Darrell Doucette has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

Page Updated: