Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Treatment in New Jersey
When acid reflux becomes a constant hassle in your life or worse, causing you pain, get checked out by the best GERD doctors in the tri-state area of NJ, NY and PA. Not only is advanced acid reflux uncomfortable, but it also can lead to more serious complications that are much more difficult to treat, such as Barrett’s esophagus. Get lifestyle recommendations, help losing weight and if necessary, effective long-term treatment. Call a GERD specialist today to find out your options. Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ, PA has five offices and a sterling reputation.
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, shortened to the common term GERD, is a condition that causes stomach acid to flow backward, out of your stomach, through your esophagus to your throat. Eventually, the backwash irritates your esophageal lining, which causes pain and burning sensations. A patient diagnosed with GERD, presents with a weakened sphincter muscle, which fails to close tightly, thereby allowing, food and stomach acids to flow back into the esophagus (reflux). The esophageal lining can become inflamed or irritated due to these acids, causing the burning chest pain, sour taste, or cough that patients suffer from.
For many people, acid reflux happens only once in a while, caused by particular foods. These instances of GERD cause no permanent damage. Others, however, have to search for the best GERD doctor near me. In New York City, northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, top GERD doctors are available at Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ, PA.
What Causes You to Seek GERD Treatment
Gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment usually isn’t required if you only experience the discomfort of acid reflux occasionally. It’s considered a mild condition if you have it once a week and severe or moderate if acid reflux occurs more than once a week. Frequent acid reflux leads to GERD, as the continual flow of acid up to your throat irritates and inflames your esophagus. You’re at an increased risk of developing GERD if you:
- Are obese
- Are pregnant
- Suffer a delay in your stomach emptying
- Have a hiatal hernia, which causes a bulge at the top of your stomach
- Have scleroderma or another connective tissue disorder
These risk factors are aggravated by:
- Consuming fried and fatty foods
- Eating late at night
- Smoking cigarettes
- Taking aspirin or other medications
- Drinking coffee or alcohol frequently
Symptoms that Alert Your GERD Doctor
GERD occurs both during the day and the night. When you lie down, you may feel the pain worsen. Seek GERD treatment if you also experience:
- Coughing that’s chronic at night
- A sore throat or laryngitis
- Trouble sleeping through the night
- Asthma that worsens while sleeping
Symptoms typically are worse at night, but during the day, GERD commonly appears in the form of:
- A feeling like you have a lump in your throat
- Burning sensations or heartburn after you eat
- A sour taste in your mouth when food or drink backs up
- A pain in your chest
- Trouble swallowing
Visit Top GERD Doctors
Seek emergency treatment if you have chest pains or get short of breath, particularly if it’s accompanied by arm or jaw pain. These symptoms may also indicate you’re having a heart attack and not just another bout of acid reflux. Get treatment from the best doctor for GERD, especially if you find yourself taking over-the-counter medications for the discomfort more than once a week or if your symptoms become severe.
Without an appropriate GERD cure, continued acid reflux can lead to a host of complications, such as:
- Barrett’s esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer. It occurs from the constant barrage of acid that affects the tissue lining your throat.
- Ulcers, characterized by open sores in your throat that cause difficulty swallowing, pain and bleeding.
- Narrowing of your throat due to the scar tissue created after continual acid reflux that caused the ulcers. This also leads to trouble swallowing.
Your GERD doctor may be able to diagnose your condition simply by listening to your litany of symptoms and understanding when they started. The best GERD doctor has a number of tests available to confirm the diagnosis, including:
- A digestive system x-ray that requires you to drink a liquid before the test; the liquid coats your throat and stomach to make abnormalities visible
- Manometry that measures the muscle contractions in your esophagus
- Endoscopy, which requires your doctor to insert a camera and light down your throat to view any damage
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Treatment
You can get GERD relief with lifestyle and eating changes. Medication may be another option your doctor may suggest. When you search for a GERD doctor near me, you’ll find that the doctors at Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ, PA also are bariatric surgical specialists. Losing weight is one of the primary treatments used to treat GERD and its side effects. If you’re looking to lose weight, consider:
Available GERD surgery includes:
Stop suffering and avoid serious complications. Contact the specialists at Advanced Surgical & Bariatrics of NJ, PA for an appointment.
Some patients do not respond well to medications or lifestyle changes while others are not comfortable following an on-going medication regimen. These patients, are candidates for a surgical procedure to correct their GERD symptoms. The most common surgical procedure for GERD is called a Nissen fundoplication, which involves the repair of a hiatal hernia, if present, and wrapping the top part of the stomach around the end of the esophagus. This recreates a one way valve prohibiting stomach acid from entering the esophagus, and can be done using a minimally invasive technique with several small incisions (laparoscopic surgery).
By performing the surgery laparoscopically, the benefits include less pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and a reduced risk of infections and hernias.**
Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery is best for those who have not had abdominal surgery previously, those who experience small hiatal hernias without GERD complications, and those who have most of the symptoms of reflux when lying down.
When is GERD or acid reflux surgery necessary?
Those with severe, chronic esophageal acid reflux may need surgery to correct the problem if other medical treatments are not relieving their symptoms.