What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
GERD is a digestive disorder. It refers to the upflow of acid or contents in the stomach back into the esophagus. This reflux irritates the lining of your esophagus and is known as GERD. You may feel some discomfort, tightness or a burning sensation in your heart and chest which is called heartburn.
What causes GERD?
At the entrance to your stomach is a valve, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally, the LES opens when you swallow and closes as soon as food passes through. This prevents acid or stomach contents from travelling from the stomach back into the esophagus. However, when the LES does not close all the way, stomach acid can move into your esophagus. This is known as GERD.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- Bad breath
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Dry cough
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid(acid reflux)
- Sensation of a lump in your throat
If you experience these symptoms more than twice a week, make an appointment with us immediately.
Consultation- GERD is diagnosed by a doctor based on your symptoms.
Endoscopy- Gastroscopy is a procedure to examine the oesophagus and stomach by using a tiny camera mounted at the end of a thin, flexible tube. It is used to screen conditions associated with stomach cancer such as lumps, polyps, inflammation, ulcers, and harmful bacteria.
Why anti-reflux surgery for GERD?
Persistent and severe heartburn can affect one’s health and quality of life. If left untreated, GERD reduces personal and work-related productivity. 75 per cent of night time heartburn patients report being unable to sleep well at night and 40 per cent of night time heartburn patients say it affects their jobs the next day.
Over time, acid reflux may lead to a change in the lining of the esophagus, resulting in conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a precancerous condition which increases the risk of esophageal cancer.
GERD can effectively be treated with surgical anti-reflux therapy. By correcting underlying problems,surgery helps patients avoid the need for life-long medications. Within a few weeks, patients will likely be symptom-free. This ensures GERD does not cause pain or discomfort or progress to more serious conditions like ulcers or cancer.
Schedule a consult with our doctor Dr Ganesh Ramalingam
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