While everyone experiences indigestion every now and then, if you constantly have a burning sensation in your upper abdomen or chest and regurgitate a sour liquid, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). At Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery P.C. in Royal Oak, Michigan, Dr. David Chengelis, a board-certified surgeon, offers minimally invasive surgical procedures to eradicate reflux and end your need for any reflux medications. Reflux medications can have long-term side effects. Surgery may be the answer for you. If you’re in the Greater Detroit area, call the practice or schedule a consultation online today to learn more about how surgery can get rid of GERD for good. All surgeries are performed at Beaumont Health, Royal Oak Hospital.
GERD is a painful and disruptive condition that occurs when weakness in your esophageal sphincter — the small circle of muscle tissue that separates and closes the opening between your esophagus and stomach — allows stomach acid and partially digested food to flow back into your esophagus. It can also occur with a hiatal hernia.
If you have GERD, you experience symptoms like heartburn or regurgitation after large meals or when you lie down to rest or sleep. You may also develop problems swallowing or the sensation of having a lump in your throat. Some patients have chronic aspiration of micro particles into their lungs and have asthma or chronic coughs. GERD can also cause chest pain.
GERD is usually diagnosed by a gastroenterologist, who will refer you for surgical treatment if necessary. Your gastroenterologist performs a physical exam and may order blood work and additional testing like endoscopy or MRIs to complete their diagnosis. An upper GI series which is swallowing dye and taking pictures of the esophagus and stomach is helpful.
Conservative treatments for GERD start with conservative lifestyle changes such as not eating late before bed, watching diet, avoiding too much alcohol. Reflux medications that prevent the stomach from producing acid are a very common choice. Many people can lead healthy and active lives with nonsurgical treatments.
Reflux surgery should be considered in a patient that does not want to take reflux medications which can have side effects, for the rest of their lives. Instead, proven effective surgical approach to resolve reflux works in a vast majority of patients.
Dr. Chengelis has been performing and perfecting minimally invasive fundoplication for over two decades. The operation was first started with traditional open surgery some 60 years ago but has been minimally invasive for the past 20 plus years. During this procedure, he uses a laparoscope and other specially designed surgical tools to fix any hiatal hernia and then wrap the top of your stomach around the lower esophagus. This change in the anatomy is thought to prevent reflux.
If you have GERD and your symptoms haven’t responded to conservative medical treatments and lifestyle modifications, call or schedule a consultation online today to learn about your surgical treatment options.