GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a common problem that causes chronic heartburn and indigestion. If you have chronic GERD, distinguished surgeon Mohammed Kalan, MD, FRCS, FACS, at the Washington Institute of Surgery in Chevy Chase, Maryland, can help. Dr. Kalan specializes in performing laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery for the relief of GERD. To find out more, please call the Washington, DC, area office today or book an appointment online.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a chronic condition affecting your esophagus. It develops when the acid in your stomach that aids digestion travels back up your esophagus.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) should keep the acid inside your stomach, which is resistant to its corrosive effects. If the LES is weak or isn’t closing properly, stomach acid can reflux up your esophagus.
Unlike your stomach, the esophagus isn’t resistant to acid and consequently becomes inflamed and painful.
GERD causes a variety of symptoms, many of which are common forms of indigestion. Frequent GERD symptoms include:
Heartburn, which is also known as acid reflux or acid indigestion, is a burning pain in your chest caused by stomach acid inflaming the lining of your esophagus.
If you have only occasional symptoms of GERD, antacids can help. For persistent or recurring symptoms, you might need to take prescription medicines like proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces.
It’s also important to make changes to your lifestyle, for instance, losing weight if you’re overweight or obese and avoiding triggers such as:
For patients whose symptoms don’t improve after following these conservative measures, Dr. Kalan can perform surgery. It’s not uncommon for patients who have GERD to also have a hiatal hernia, which Dr. Kalan can repair during GERD surgery.
It’s vital that you don’t let symptoms of GERD continue for too long. You might develop scarring, stricture, and a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer.
Dr. Kalan at the Washington Institute of Surgery is a recognized expert in GERD surgery and has been carrying out laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery for GERD and hiatal hernia since 1999. Fundoplication involves repairing any hiatal hernia, then wrapping the top section of your stomach around the lower end of your esophagus. This reinforces the LES, re-establishing the effectiveness of its one-way system.
GERD surgery typically requires a one night stay in the hospital.
If you have persistent acid reflux and pain, GERD surgery could resolve your problem and help prevent more serious complications. Please call the Washington Institute of Surgery today, or make an appointment using the online booking tool.