Most adults occasionally experience heartburn due to acid reflux, but if your symptoms become frequent or intolerable, it’s time to get medical help. You’ll receive exceptional treatment from Abel Bello, MD, and the doctors at MIB Surgery. They specialize in minimally invasive procedures that treat the source of acid reflux, preventing it from causing damage to your esophagus. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Plantation, Florida.
Acid Reflux Q & A
What causes acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents flow out of your stomach and up into your esophagus. Normally, a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to let food into the stomach, then closes to prevent stomach acid from refluxing. When the LES is weak or relaxes at the wrong time, you develop acid reflux.
What symptoms develop due to acid reflux?
Heartburn — a painful, burning sensation in your chest — is the most common symptom of acid reflux. Depending on the severity of your reflux, you may also experience:
The sensation of a lump in your throat
Chronic dry cough
Acid reflux symptoms tend to get worse when you go to bed within a few hours of eating.
How is acid reflux diagnosed?
The team at MIB Surgery has the most advanced tools for diagnosing acid reflux, such as the BRAVO™ pH monitor, esophageal pH catheter impedance monitor, and high-resolution esophageal manometry.
These devices are available in the MIB Surgery office, so you don’t need to wait for a diagnosis or get testing done at a different medical facility.
How is acid reflux treated?
Treatment for acid reflux begins with medications that neutralize stomach acid or reduce the production of stomach acids.
Many types of medications are available, from over-the-counter antacids and proton pump inhibitors to stronger prescription medications that may be needed for more severe cases of acid reflux.
Lifestyle changes can also make a big difference. For example, you can limit foods known to trigger acid reflux, eat smaller meals, and avoid lying down shortly after eating.
It also helps to prevent extra pressure on your abdomen, a problem that’s caused when you’re overweight or wear tight clothing.
When conservative measures don’t help, or your acid reflux is severe, the team at MIB Surgery may recommend one of the following procedures:
Stretta® therapy: Stretta is one of today’s most advanced techniques for treating acid reflux that doesn’t respond to medications. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that’s performed in less than an hour using a specialized endoscope that your MIB Surgery doctor gently inserts through your mouth and esophagus. The Stretta device delivers low-power, low-temperature radiofrequency energy to the LES. The energy triggers tissue remodeling, thickening the muscle, and improving its function. As a result, you have fewer untimely muscle relaxations that allow reflux. Following treatment with Stretta, most patients get long-lasting relief that lasts 4-10 years.
LINX® Reflux Management System: A magnetic bracelet is used to strengthen the LES
Gastric Fundoplication: Using laparoscopic surgery, your doctor at MIB Surgery reinforces the LES by wrapping the top of your stomach around the muscle.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication: Similar to gastric fundoplication but performed with an endoscopic instrument inserted through your mouth and into your stomach.