Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic form of acid reflux, affects 20% of Americans. When your GERD symptoms become severe or damage your esophagus, you can count on Abel Bello, MD, and the doctors at MIB Surgery in Plantation, Florida. As a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of GERD and a national trainer for the LINX anti-reflux procedure, Dr. Bello has successfully performed hundreds of procedures, providing long-term relief from GERD. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking system.
GERD Q & A
What is GERD?
GERD begins as acid reflux, a problem that occurs when contents in your stomach flow up into your esophagus.
A round muscle, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), lets food into the stomach, then closes tightly to ensure strong stomach acid doesn’t get out. If the LES weakens or relaxes, acid reflux develops.
GERD develops when acid reflux becomes frequent and chronic. You may be diagnosed with GERD when you have mild acid reflux at least twice every week, or moderate-to-severe acid reflux at least once a week.
What symptoms and complications develop due to GERD?
GERD causes the same symptoms as acid reflux:
Chronic dry cough
Feeling like there’s a lump in your throat
Untreated GERD often leads to potentially serious complications. As stomach acid enters your esophagus, it causes inflammation and scar tissue that narrows the esophagus and makes it hard to swallow.
Stomach acid can cause a painful, bleeding ulcer in the esophagus. Ongoing exposure to stomach acid also leads to precancerous changes in the tissues lining the esophagus, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
How is GERD treated?
The first line of treatment for GERD includes medications, such as antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.
Depending on the severity of your GERD, you may be able to improve your symptoms by avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux, eating small meals, and raising the head of your bed.
If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight relieves GERD symptoms by reducing the amount of pressure on your abdomen.
If you qualify for bariatric surgery, your best treatment for GERD may be bariatric surgery rather than anti-reflux surgery.
When you need anti-reflux surgery, the doctors at MIB Surgery perform one of the following:
LINX® Reflux Management System: The LINX system consists of a flexible bracelet made of magnetic titanium beads. Using minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Bello places the bracelet around the esophagus at the LES, where the strong magnetic bond strengthens the muscle.
Gastric fundoplication: Gastric fundoplication or Nissen fundoplication treats acid reflux and repairs a hiatal hernia, which often causes acid reflux. During this laparoscopic procedure, Dr. Bello wraps the top of your stomach around the LES, tightening the muscle and preventing reflux.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF®): This procedure is similar to a Nissen fundoplication except it’s done using a specialized endoscopic device that’s guided through your mouth and into the stomach. Then the process of folding the upper stomach around the esophagus is done from inside your stomach.
To get treatment for GERD, call MIB Surgery to book an appointment today.