» What is a colonoscopy?
» Why is a colonoscopy performed?
» How can I prepare for the procedure?
» What can I expect during a colonoscopy?
» What happens after a colonoscopy?
» What are the risks or complications of the procedure?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease FAQs
» What is gastroesophageal reflux disease?
Prolonged acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, reduces the ability of the LES muscle to contract, causing acid to remain in the esophagus longer, leading to extended complications. These complications include scarring, nerve damage, tightening of the esophagus, the formation of ulcers, and bleeding.
» What are the symptoms of GERD?
The primary symptom of GERD is heartburn, which occurs as the stomach acid travels through the esophagus and stimulates the nerve fibers. Heartburn is felt as a burning pain in the middle of the chest. It can stretch from the abdomen to the neck and can even extend into the back. Heartburn from acid reflux occurs most often after eating or while lying down, when reflux is more likely to occur. Symptoms can be triggered by spicy foods, caffeine or alcohol. Other more common symptoms of GERD may include the following:
- A dry cough
- Trouble swallowing
- A hoarseness or change in the voice
- Sore throat
» When is heartburn worrisome?
» What are the preventative treatments for GERD and heartburn?
GERD is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. There are numerous treatment options that may reduce the severity and frequency of the symptoms of GERD. They include lifestyle changes, such as:
- Diet modification
- Cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption
- Eating small, frequent meals
- Stress reduction techniques
- Loss of excess weight
- Avoidance of tight clothing and frequent bending
- Sleeping with the head of the bed elevated.
» Are medications helpful?
» What are the tests for GERD?
Testing for the presence of GERD include the following:
- Esophageal manometry
- Esophageal acid testing
» What is involved in laparoscopic surgery for GERD correction?
During a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication three to four small incisions are made in the patient’s abdomen where a laparoscope and tiny surgical instruments are inserted. With video guidance, the physician is able to repair the valve. Most patients see an improvement in their GERD symptoms after this procedure, and are less likely to need daily medication for their condition.
» How long does recovery take?
» What are the risks & complications of GERD correction surgery?
A laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is considered safe for most patients, yet there are certain risks associated with any kind of surgical procedure. Some of these risks may include the following:
- Recurring heartburn
- Difficulty swallowing
- Esophagus sliding out of place