Tag Archives: acid reflux disease

Feeling the Burn? New Treatment Ends Acid Reflux Disease

Patti Williams woke up in the middle of the night and thought she was having a heart attack.

“I had pain in my chest, back, jaw, neck and down my left arm,” she said. “It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. And I was terrified.”

Patti Williams inside Lexington Medical Center

Patti’s husband took her from their home in Gilbert to the Emergency department at Lexington Medical Center. Doctors performed a series of tests that ruled out cardiac problems. But they saw something else on an ultrasound that caught their attention.

Patti had a hiatal hernia, which occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm. A hiatal hernia may cause acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), where stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. In some cases, that can cause the type of pain Patti felt.

Patti went to see James D. Givens, MD, FACS, at Riverside Surgical Group, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Patti told Dr. Givens she’d been experiencing acid reflux symptoms for about two years. She noticed that when she ate certain things – including onions and fried foods – she would experience indigestion, heartburn and even a nagging cough. Sometimes, it would get so bad that she broke out in a sweat and felt nauseated. She treated it with medications, but it always came back.

“Medications can suppress acid reflux symptoms, but they don’t take away the core of the problem. Acid reflux continues to damage your esophagus,” Dr. Givens said. “The only way Patti was going to get relief was with surgery.”

Dr. Jim Givens

Dr. Givens told Patti about a new surgical option called LINX®. During this laparoscopic procedure, doctors implant a small, flexible band of magnetic beads around the esophageal valve. The string of beads opens and closes to allow patients to swallow food and liquids, but it doesn’t allow contents back up into the esophagus. The magnetic attraction between the titanium-coated beads keeps the valve closed to prevent reflux.

“LINX is the most important change in anti-reflux surgery in the last 70 years,” Dr. Givens said.

The procedure takes about an hour. Patients can go home within a day and are typically back to work and their regular routine in a week. According to Dr. Givens, someone who needs to take acid reflux medications every day to ease their symptoms should consider a surgical option such as LINX.

Patti underwent the procedure in February. During the operation, Dr. Givens also repaired her hiatal hernia.

After the surgery, Patti noticed clear differences and felt better. “I don’t have to take medication anymore for acid reflux,” she said. “Before the surgery, if I didn’t take medicine, I’d have bad indigestion and chest pain. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

For more information on surgical solutions for acid reflux disease, visit RiversideSurgical.com.

Surgery for Acid Reflux Disease

Have you ever felt a burning pain in your chest after eating? Does it get worse when you lie down? Those are some of the main symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, or acid reflux disease.

More than three million cases of GERD are diagnosed in the United States each year. Medications may help ease symptoms, but they doesn’t fix the cause of the problem. That’s where the physicians at Riverside Surgical Group, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, can help. They’re performing the latest surgeries to fix the underlying problems that cause GERD and bring patients permanent relief. The procedures are minimally invasive and highly effective.

In this WLTX interview, Dr. Marc Antonetti of Riverside Surgical Group explains surgical options for acid reflux disease.

“GERD is a condition in which the contents of the stomach wash back up into the esophagus and cause irritation,” said Dr. Antonetti. “It can cause heartburn and indigestion, but also chronic respiratory problems, bad breath and teeth problems.”

Typically, the cause is a problem with the valve located between the esophagus and the stomach. At first, many patients start taking antacids or acid inhibitor medications to alleviate symptoms. But the medicines don’t work to stop the reflux from happening.

That’s where surgery can be the best option.

LINX

One of the latest procedures is called LINX®, where doctors implant a small, flexible band of magnetic beads around the weak esophageal valve. The string of beads opens and closes to allow patients to swallow food and liquids, but it doesn’t allow contents back up into the esophagus. The magnetic attraction between the titanium-coated beads keeps the valve closed to prevent reflux. LINX is implanted during an incisionless surgery that takes about an hour. Patients can go home within a day.

TIF

A second option is TIF. In this incisionless procedure, doctors insert a device with a small camera through the patient’s mouth and into the stomach. Then, they stitch the bottom of the esophagus and top of the stomach together to build a new valve that will restore the body’s natural protection against acid reflux.

While doctors have been performing surgeries to help acid reflux disease since the 1950’s, those operations used to require everything from several small incisions to a large 12-inch incision in the abdomen. Today, the procedures are incisionless and require minimal time in the hospital.

Riverside Surgical Group works with patients to decide which procedure is best for them.

For more information, visit RiversideSurgical.com