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The team at Texas Laparoscopic Consultants is invested in the overall wellbeing of our patients; that’s why we offer comprehensive surgeries and procedures for a number of debilitating conditions, including GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Our team of experienced surgeons and professional staff are dedicated to helping those who suffer from GERD Symptoms and improving their quality of life.

What Is GERD?

GERD is a serious condition that can cause debilitating pain and can be a precursor to esophageal cancer. GERD is a chronic disease that can often be progressive and is a direct result of a weak Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. A key muscle in the lower esophagus, the LES is our body’s natural barrier to reflux. When functioning correctly, it closes immediately after swallowing. For those that suffer from GERD, the LES doesn’t function correctly, allowing food and bile to travel back up the esophagus causing reflux and other debilitating GERD symptoms.

Is GERD Affecting Your Quality of Life?

Symptoms are often most noticeable at night.

GERD symptoms can happen after eating large meals, or even lying down or bending over after eating. GERD symptoms can include persistent heartburn and other symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Regurgitation
  • Stomach Discomfort
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Chronic Cough
  • Difficulty Eating

What Causes GERD?

The cause of acid reflux, heartburn or chronic cough isn’t always apparent. Many conditions may occur to cause an increase of acid in the stomach.

Obesity

For individuals with a BMI over 30, excess weight on the abdominal wall and increased intra-abdominal pressure can contribute to chronic heartburn and acid reflux.

Hernia

Reflux is commonly caused by a hiatal hernia, or esophageal hernia. This is when the upper part of the abdomen pushes up through the diaphragm, allowing acid to reflux into the esophagus.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, many women develop heartburn or acid reflux, which can worsen as the pregnancy continues and pressure on the diaphragm increases.

Smoking

Cigarette smoking can cause acid reflux by increasing acid secretion, damaging mucous membranes, impairing muscle reflexes in the throat, and reducing salivation and diaphragm muscle function.

Trigger foods

Unfortunately, certain foods can cause acid reflux. Trigger foods vary and can include alcohol, chocolate, carbonated beverages, tomatoes, spicy foods, fried foods, citrus, garlic, onions and acidic foods.

What Are the Long Term Effects of GERD?

Many people suffer pain from GERD, and if left untreated GERD can lead to more serious medical conditions, including esophageal cancer. There are a number of procedures that can help treat GERD, as opposed to just masking the symptoms like most GERD medications.

How Do I Know If I Have GERD?

It is crucial for your health that GERD is correctly diagnosed. Heartburn can be part of a more serious condition requiring advanced treatment. If left undiagnosed or untreated, acid reflux can cause damage to the esophagus, tooth decay and can lead to esophageal cancer. There are several tests to help diagnose GERD:

  • Barium Swallow Radiograph: also called “upper GI” this is an x-ray procedure in which a patient drinks a barium solution to allow doctors to view organs via x-ray. An upper GI requires fasting eight hours prior to the test to ensure effectiveness. The procedure is used to determine if there are structural issues with the esophagus, and isn’t always conclusive for diagnosing GERD. Only one in three people with GERD will have visible esophageal changes, although hiatal hernias may be visible.
  • Endoscopy: also called EGD, this procedure allows the doctor to view the lining for the esophagus and stomach. The patient is typically sedated in order for a camera inside a small tube to be inserted into the mouth and through the esophagus. Using the camera, the doctor will look for causes of reflux symptoms like inflammation, hernias, or ulcers. In more extreme cases, the EGD can show complications of GERD, like esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus. The procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes and is typically painless.
  • Biopsy: a biopsy for diagnosing GERD uses a sample of tissue removed from the lining of the esophagus and then tested by a pathology lab. The biopsy shows if there is a more serious complication of GERD like cancer, ulcers or infection. A biopsy can be performed in conjunction with an EGD depending on the findings of the EGD.
  • Esophageal Manometry: This test checks to make sure the esophagus is functioning normally. The procedure uses a small and flexible tube passed through the nose and into the esophagus and stomach to examine the functionality of the esophageal sphincter, a valve located in between the stomach and esophagus. The health of the esophagus is tested by sensors on the tube monitor pressure exerted throughout the esophagus and stomach.
  • pH Monitoring: pH monitoring records levels of esophageal acidity over one or two days. Using a pH sensor placed on the esophagus, by tube or suction, the patient also uses a device to record acid reflux symptoms and keep a food and drinks diary during the testing period. The doctor will use the results of the pH device and compare it to the food diary to monitor intensity and patterns of the patient’s reflux symptoms.

Relief from Painful Symptoms Is Possible

LINX® System

The LINX® Reflux Management System is an innovative surgical procedure to permanently treat the underlying causes of GERD symptoms. This procedure is performed laparoscopically and utilizes magnetized titanium to prevent acid from pushing up through the esophagus. LINX® is often used to treat patients who no longer find relief from medications.

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TIF Procedure

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, commonly known as TIF, is a minimally invasive acid reflux treatment in which an anti-reflux valve is implanted. The procedure is performed through the mouth, with no incisions. TIF addresses the underlying issues that cause GERD and can reduce heartburn and other symptoms.

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Hiatal Hernia Repair

GERD symptoms sometimes occur as a result of a hiatal hernia, a hernia that occurs in the opening of the diaphragm. A hiatal hernia repair is a minimally invasive procedure in which the diaphragm opening is narrowed. This procedure can be an effective heartburn treatment, along with reducing associated pain and stomach swelling.

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Laparoscopic Fundoplication

Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication is considered the standard surgical treatment for severe heartburn, or GERD. This procedure involves reinforcing the lower esophageal sphincter, which is located at the end of the esophagus, so stomach acid cannot reflux into the esophagus.

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We are here to help you find the right treatment.

Find the Relief You Deserve.

If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, or GERD, we can help find the right acid reflux treatment for you. Give us a call at (713) 493-7700 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a consultation.