All of us occasionally suffer from heartburn after a big meal or eating something especially spicy or greasy. No news there. But if you find that you’re suffering from heartburn symptoms on a daily basis and it’s greatly impairing your quality of life, it may be time to seek medical attention.
Chronic heartburn, which is also known as gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when stomach acids reflux, or come “back up” from the stomach into the esophagus after eating. Chronic heartburn can cause conditions such as:
● Esophagitis (chronic inflammation of the esophagus)
● Chronic regurgitation (spitting up of food from stomach or esophagus without nausea)
● Barrett’s esophagus (when the lining of the esophagus becomes damaged, thickened and red due to acid reflux)
If you suspect that you may be suffering from GERD, it’s time to come in for a consultation with board-certified surgeon Dr. Surya Challa. Dr. Challa has successfully treated hundreds of GERD patients, and he will be able to accurately diagnose you and devise a proper treatment plan, which may include medication, diet modifications or minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. (Depending on the severity and cause of your symptoms, you may benefit from some combination of these.)
Dr. Challa is an expert in minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery and prefers it to “open” surgery for GERD because it affords several important benefits to the patient:
● Smaller incisions mean it’s less invasive with a shorter recovery
● Less discomfort
● Excellent clinical outcomes that rarely need follow-up procedures
● Shorter hospital stay
● Less post-operative scarring
During laparoscopic acid reflux surgery, Dr. Challa operates using small tools inserted into the abdomen. Sometimes, GERD can be caused by a hiatal hernia, when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the diaphragm. If this is the case, Dr. Challa will first repair your hernia before tightening the lower esophagus to prevent acid reflux from recurring.