A reflux–also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or “GERD”–occurs when our bodies cannot prevent acid from washing up into the esophagus like it normally should. Reflux is often associated with typical “heartburn” symptoms such as:
- Pain just under the rib cage
- Brackish water taste in the mouth
- Recurrent sore throats
- Rapid airway diseases such as asthma.
Common risk factors include:
- Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
- Eating large meals right before bed
- Consuming certain food/drinks such as alcohol, caffeine, high-fat foods, or spicy food
A hole in the diaphragm, called a hiatus, allows the esophagus to poke down into the abdominal cavity. Over time, the stomach can start to protrude upward into the chest cavity. Reflux can exist without a hernia, but most of the time people who suffer from GERD have a slight hernia. During robotic surgery, the surgeon will repair an existing hiatal hernia to its appropriate size and location within the diaphragm.
Incisionless surgery for chronic heartburn and reflux now available
Over twenty million Americans suffer with daily heartburn or other symptoms of reflux such as regurgitation, chronic cough, hoarseness and dental erosions. The new Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF®) procedure, using the innovative EsophyX® device, is performed without incisions and is now available at Lakeland General Surgery, Niles.