what is gerd?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a chronic digestive disease caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally, the LES behaves like a one-way valve, allowing food and liquid to pass through to the stomach, but preventing stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. When the LES is weak, it can allow stomach acid to flow back up out of the stomach irritating the lining of the esophagus. GERD is mild acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week, or moderate to severe acid reflux that occurs at least once a week.

symptoms of gerd

  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Regurgitation
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Dental erosion and bad breath
  • Cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Asthma

complications of gerd

  • Adult-onset asthma
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Erosion of the esophagus (esophagitis)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Narrowing of the esophagus
  • Regurgitation of acid into the lungs
  • Sinusitis
  • Ulcerations/bleeding

Treatment for Gerd

If your GERD symptoms are severe and cannot be eased with medicine or lifestyle changes, your doctor may suggest surgery. The surgeons at South Georgia Surgical Associates offer minimally invasive surgical treatment options for GERD.

Nissen Fundoplication

Also referred to as a Lap Nissen, Nissen fundoplication is a laparoscopic procedure where just a few small incisions are made by a robotic-assisted surgeon, who will wrap the upper curve of your stomach around the esophagus, then stitch it into place. This strengthens the valve between your esophagus and stomach, which stops acid from rising into the esophagus as easily.