If you suffer from heartburn after you eat or when you lay down to sleep, you may have acid reflux — referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). At Northeast Oregon Surgical Clinic in Pendleton, Oregon, Andrew Bower, MD, FACS, provides expert treatment for acid reflux to resolve your symptoms and correct the condition causing your reflux. Call or schedule an appointment online today to get the expert medical care you need.
Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid escapes your stomach and ascends into your esophagus. Most people experience acid reflux now and then, but when you have symptoms twice a week or more, you should seek medical attention. The symptoms range from mild to severe and include:
When left untreated, GERD can lead to complications like laryngitis, a chronic cough, and asthma complications.
Acid reflux develops when the sphincter — a circular band of muscle that closes the juncture of two organs — between your stomach and esophagus becomes loose or weak. This weakness allows your stomach acid to travel from your stomach up through your throat.
The risk factors for GERD include:
Your lifestyle also increases your risk of acid reflux. For example, eating large meals or eating late at night can trigger your symptoms.
A hiatal hernia is a condition in which your stomach pushes through a weak spot in your diaphragm. This is usually near your esophagus and stretches the lower esophageal sphincter.
If you’re experiencing frequent GERD symptoms, Dr. Bower can diagnose the condition causing them using an upper endoscopy to examine your esophagus and stomach.
You may be able to control your symptoms with lifestyle modifications such as changing your diet to include gentle foods and to cut out alcohol and caffeine.
You can also try medications to neutralize your stomach acid or reduce production to control your symptoms.
But when medication and lifestyle modifications aren’t sufficient to control your acid reflux symptoms, Dr. Bower sometimes performs minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to repair your hiatal hernia.
He can perform fundoplication to wrap the top of your stomach around your esophageal sphincter to tighten the muscle. He can also insert a LINX device, which is a small magnetic ring of beads that helps your esophageal sphincter stay shut, but that opens when you swallow.
If GERD symptoms are disrupting your sleep or your lifestyle, call or schedule a consultation online today to see Dr. Bower for expert diagnosis and treatment.