Acid Reflux Treatment in Asheville, North Carolina
Surgery is the only way to stop your GERD for good.
Acid reflux, officially known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is an extremely common condition — 20 to 30 percent of the adult population in the United States report having weekly symptoms. However, many people aren’t aware of the true cause of GERD. Understanding the disease is the first step toward ending your heartburn and getting more restful sleep.
GERD is typically caused by a muscle weakness in your lower esophagus.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a circular muscle found between the esophagus and the stomach. It’s responsible for allowing food to pass into the stomach and keeping stomach acid out of the esophagus, but it’s often too weak to do an effective job. When the LES doesn’t close properly, stomach acid can flow backward (reflux) into the esophagus, causing the following symptoms:
- Dry cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore throat
Preserving your health by investigating and diagnosing your GERD symptoms.
If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD based on the symptoms listed above, and you’ve decided to end your discomfort once and for all, we’ll need to do some further diagnostic work prior to surgery. We will commonly perform an upper endoscopy (EGD), where we use a small camera to directly observe your esophagus and check for damage. This test is particularly important for diagnosing Barrett’s esophagus, a condition caused by GERD. After a long period of exposure to stomach acid, your esophageal cells can change into precancerous cells. This condition increases your risk of developing esophageal cancer, so if you suspect you might have GERD, it’s important that you seek a diagnosis and begin treatment.
Prioritize your GERD treatment until you’re symptom-free.
The first round of treatment for GERD is lifestyle change — coffee, alcohol, smoking and fatty foods can all increase the amount of harmful acid refluxing into your esophagus. Being overweight can also worsen GERD. However, if lifestyle change fails to help your condition, medications such as antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors may provide relief. But if medication doesn’t improve your symptoms — or if you don’t want to be on medication for the rest of your life — surgery is an effective, proven path to permanent relief.
Helping the Asheville area fight GERD with Nissen fundoplication.
Dr. Jerimiah Mason will use a laparoscope and precise surgical instruments to wrap the upper part of your stomach (the “fundus”) around the bottom of the esophagus. This procedure, called Nissen fundoplication, gives your LES extra support, helping it close properly. And because this is a minimally invasive procedure, you’ll only have a few incisions that require just one or two stitches each. Recovery usually takes two to three weeks, after which you’ll be ready to start living without GERD.
For more information about Nissen fundoplication, or to schedule an appointment, call 855-836-5710. You can also request an appointment using our easy online form.