Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Overview of Heartburn
- Heartburn Causes
- Heartburn Symptoms
- Heartburn Diagnosis
- Heartburn Treatment
- Heartburn Medication
- Heartburn Surgery
- Heartburn Summary
Surgery is an option for those patients:
- for whom intensive medical therapy does not provide adequate relief,
- with Barrett's esophagus,
- with reflux so severe that it causes hoarseness, pneumonia, or wheezing.
Different surgical approaches to esophageal reflux are available. In fundoplication, the stomach is wrapped around the lower esophagus, in effect creating a new physiologic valve to take the place of the lower esophageal sphincter. New devices have been recently approved that can be wrapped around the lower esophagus that act link the LES. The specific procedure will be recommended based upon the patient's situation.
- Heartburn is a symptom of a common medical condition (GERD) that affects up to 20% of the population.
- Initial therapies to limit the amount of stomach acid production include lifestyle changes including avoiding certain foods, alcohol, anti-inflammatory medications, and quitting smoking.
- Medications can be helpful in controlling symptoms of heartburn.
- Weight loss may help decrease heartburn symptoms by decreasing intra-abdominal pressure.
- Heartburn is not a benign condition. If neglected over long periods of time it may lead to other more serious conditions such as Barrett's esophagus or esophageal cancer.
Tova Alladice, M.D.
American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
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