With a prevalence rate of 18 to 28%, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common GI disorders in the United States. Also known as Acid Reflux, GERD is a condition in which the stomach acids get expelled back into the esophagus creating discomfort. Generally, acid reflux happens after overeating that may lead to vomiting, however, when persistent or chronic, it is advisable to consult a reputable doctor. Possible routes of treatments include medications, and surgery, but before considering an anti-reflux surgery in Dallas, it is always beneficial to have basic information about the condition. In this blog, we present a detailed guide to GERD and antireflux surgery in Dallas. Read along.
As stated earlier, the chronic condition of backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus is called gastroesophageal reflux disease. Generally, the esophageal sphincter (LES) prevents the contents of the stomach from entering the esophagus, however, any complications or issues in the normal functioning of the esophageal sphincter result in creating an opening leading to GERD symptoms. Based on the histopathologic and endoscopic studies, GERD is of three types:
- Erosive Esophagitis (EE): It is the inflammation and irritation of the lining of the esophagus running from the throat to the stomach.
- Barrett esophagus (BE): Caused by repeated acid reflux, it is the damage to the lining (Distal Esophageal Mucosa) of the lower esophagus.
- Non-erosive Reflux Disease (NERD): It is the least harmful form of GERD, where the esophagus is not damaged by the corrosive stomach acid.
The prevalence of these forms of GERD is NERD (69-70%) > EE (30%)> BE (6-12%). An anti-reflux is suggested to GERD patients when lifestyle changes and medications does not ease any discomfort or when there is a development of ulcers and cancer or in any case of bleeding. In case you are experiencing troubling symptoms, you may consider getting an anti-reflux surgery in Dallas by consulting a leading general surgeon near you.
When it comes to understanding the reasons behind GERD, it could be because of any of the following:
- Consuming spicy or fatty food regularly
- Persistent smoking & drinking habits
- Immediately bending or lying down after having a meal
- Frequently overeating
- Having a naturally weak esophageal sphincter (LES)
- Hiatal hernia (hernia in the chest)
GERD causes distressing symptoms including vomiting and damage to the esophagus and can even lead to malnutrition due to poor digestion. Other concerning GERD symptoms range from heartburn and regurgitation to dental erosion, laryngitis, chronic cough, and chest pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or you want to get the best anti-reflux treatment in DFW, consult an experienced general surgeon near you.
When it comes to treating GERD, doctors emphasize lifestyle changes and some also recommend medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), but when these fail to manage GERD symptoms or when your condition is causing other severe health issues, surgery may be recommended. The commonly prescribed anti-reflux surgical procedures are:
- Nissen Fundoplication: It is a traditional anti-reflux surgical procedure in which the top portion of the stomach is wrapped around the lower part of the esophagus, helping in restoring the normal functioning of the esophageal sphincter. This procedure can be performed laparoscopically or through robotic surgeries. This procedure is often paired with hiatal hernia repair in the diaphragm region.
- LINX: It is a relatively new anti-reflux surgical procedure that focuses on mechanically managing the esophageal passage to prevent acid reflux through a device that is made from Titanium magnets. The device is placed laparoscopically and requires highly skilled surgeons to operate.
- Gastric Bypass: Though a weight-loss surgical procedure, gastric bypass is still an effective solution for treating GERD in obese patients. During the procedure, the portion of the stomach that produces acid is separated from the esophagus, which prevents the backflow of stomach acid and bile juices. Gastric bypass is a common bariatric surgical procedure for patients seeking weight-loss and anti-reflux treatment with a BMI of 35 kg/m2.
Things to Consider before Undergoing GERD surgery
Undergoing an anti-reflux surgery requires serious considerations backed by a diligent commitment to follow instructions given by the medical staff. This is why it is advised that patients consult an experienced surgeon for reflux surgery in Dallas to formulate a well-defined plan including preoperative measures for minimum complications during the surgery. Your doctor may recommend the following before conducting an anti-reflux surgery:
- A full physical examination to determine underlying health issues
- Stopping certain medicines before surgery such as supplements and blood pressure regulating medicines
- Avoiding any meals or liquids after midnight before the surgery (reduce water intake to sips)
- Stopping smoking a month or a half before the surgery to prevent chances of infection
- A thorough shower with antibiotic soap to minimize chances of infection
An anti-reflux surgery is a simple yet effective surgery but it requires expertise of an experienced gastrointestinal doctor, the medical staff and the precision of advanced tools. If you are in the DFW region, and looking for an anti-reflux treatment, consult a leading general of GI surgeon who provides comprehensive treatment for GERD starting from the basic diagnosis to the advanced surgical procedures and post-operative care.