When it comes to treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the most recommended treatment the LINX® Reflux Management System. The LINX® system, a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads, which is placed around the exterior wall of the LES during a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. The outpatient procedure is the newest, most convenient solution to eliminating the symptoms of GERD.
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Our Tampa Bay Reflux Center staff is led by two of the most experienced foregut/esophageal surgeons in the southeastern United States – Dr. Grandhige and Dr. Tapper. Although they’re widely renowned for their treatment of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), that’s not the only condition we treat here at TBRC. Our surgeons specialize in treating four common digestive conditions: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease, Achalasia, and Hiatal Hernias.
Last week was GERD Awareness Week, a week dedicated towards raising awareness about gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition that affects tens of millions of Americans. Many people associate GERD as simply heartburn or acid reflux, it’s a condition often viewed as a symptom rather than an actual disease. The fact of the matter is that many people simply aren’t aware of what GERD really is, the variety of symptoms it can cause, and the fact that it’s a very treatable condition.
There are many different ways to treat GERD, but anti-reflux surgery is by far the best way to efficiently relieve symptoms long-term because it’s the only method that actually treats the root cause of your GERD. Surgery is a scary word, but the anti-reflux surgeries we perform at Tampa Bay Reflux Center are minimally invasive, and the positive impacts they’ll have on your overall health and quality of life are well worth it. Getting anti-reflux surgery will change your life in a number of ways, but here are five key areas of your life where you’ll see the impacts:
GERD is so much more than heartburn and acid reflux. Often patients use the term “acid reflux disease” as a blanket statement when they really just mean that they are experiencing heartburn. Acid reflux isn’t the same thing as GERD, so acid reflux treatment won’t be able to cure your GERD. Basically, acid reflux is an action, while GERD is the actual disease and heartburn is a symptom.
The Difference Between GERD and Acid Reflux: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease which occurs when stomach contents such as acid, food or bile flow back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash is what we call acid reflux and it irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing GERD. This process often results in heartburn symptoms.
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Over 60 Million people suffer daily from chronic heartburn and prevalence of GERD symptoms have increased by over 47% in the last 10 years. Other GERD symptoms in addition to heartburn include:
- Chest Pain
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Sore Throat/Hoarseness
- Waking up choking
- Loss of smell/taste
- Frequent burping/”Wet Burps”
- Sour taste in throat
- Bad breath
- Tooth enamel erosion
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it could mean that you have GERD but remember that the only way you can know for sure is by scheduling an appointment with a gastroenterologist. Only a GI specialist can diagnose GERD and help you develop an appropriate GERD treatment plan. There are different stages of GERD and over time it can progress, which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for your specific case.