An estimated 20% of Americans have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition that can lead to complications like damage to the esophagus, esophageal narrowing, and cancer.
At OakBend Medical Group, our bariatric surgeons Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS, Steven Thomas, MD, and Genna Lubrano, MD, offer different types of surgeries to help relieve symptoms of acid reflux and help you lose weight safely.
Why you have GERD
Acid reflux is a condition where the acids from your stomach move back up into your esophagus. This occurs because of weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter, a band of muscle that opens when you swallow liquids or food and closes afterward.
Weakness in this muscle band allows your stomach acids to flow back into your throat. When acid reflux symptoms occur several times a week, it’s described as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Common symptoms of acid reflux and GERD include:
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent cough
Some people also experience nausea and vomiting because of acid reflux and GERD. If you’re prone to asthma, GERD can trigger an asthma attack.
How surgery can relieve GERD symptoms
Many people are able to control symptoms of GERD with over-the-counter and prescription medications. However, as your condition worsens, these conservative treatments may not be as effective. You may need surgery if you have hard-to-treat acid reflux or GERD symptoms.
Our bariatric surgeons may recommend weight loss surgery or acid reflux surgery to relieve chronic GERD symptoms. Bariatric surgery is often an effective treatment for GERD because obesity is a common cause of the condition.
Excess weight can put pressure on your stomach and lead to the backflow of acids up into your throat. Obesity can also cause premature weakening in your lower esophageal sphincter.
By undergoing bariatric surgery, you can lose excess weight faster and more efficiently when diet and exercise aren’t enough. This takes the pressure off your esophagus to relieve your uncomfortable symptoms and prevent GERD complications.
There is also an anti-reflux surgery known as Nissen Fundoplication. The goal of this type of surgery is to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter to keep acids in your stomach if other treatments aren’t working.
Is surgery right for you?
Our team at OakBend Medical Group can determine if you’re a candidate for surgery after reviewing the severity of your symptoms and your existing health.
You may first need to try lifestyle and diet changes to reduce GERD symptoms naturally and to help you lose weight. If these changes or the use of acid-reducing medications aren’t enough to treat your condition, you may be a candidate for surgery.
Our providers will spend time discussing your options for surgery and the best course of treatment to help you make an informed decision. We also provide after-surgery resources that ensure you heal fully and are free of GERD symptoms in the long-term.
To schedule a consultation for surgery for GERD, call OakBend Medical Group or book a consultation online today.