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Heartburn (cont.)

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Heartburn Surgery

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 Summary

  • 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.

Reviewed by:

Tova Alladice, M.D.

American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/26/2016

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