Tampa Bay Reflux Center boasts two of the top reflux surgeons in the country, and our surgeons have both trained extensively in treating a variety of gastrointestinal and esophageal conditions. While acid reflux and GERD are our main focuses, our doctors treat all of the following conditions.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a chronic digestive disorder affecting the lower esophageal sphincter (that ring of muscle between your esophagus and your stomach). In patients with GERD, the lower esophageal sphincter is either weaker, shorter, or has moved into a location that is other than normal, causing it to relax inappropriately. When it does, this can allow acid, bile, or even undigested food to reflux back up into the esophagus, which results in painful symptoms.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (or LPR) is a condition in which stomach juice refluxes up through the esophagus into the back of the throat, causing irritation in the vocal cords and lungs. In other words, LPR is the term used to describe the irritation that results from frequent reflux. Laryngopharyngeal reflux is often referred to as silent reflux because in many patients it doesn't present with typical acid reflux symptoms.
A hiatal hernia happens when part of the upper stomach squeezes through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm that the esophagus passes through. This is usually due to a combination of pressure and a weakness of muscle or fascia. There are two different types of hiatal hernias: sliding and paraesophageal. Paraesophageal hernias are the less common of the two, and in many cases are more dangerous. Hiatal hernias are common in patients with GERD, with up to 90% of GERD patients having one.
Achalasia is an esophageal disorder that prevents the esophagus from emptying properly. In patients with Achalasia, certain nerve fibers in the esophagus are destroyed. This results in two issues: the esophagus loses its ability to push, and the valve at the lower end of the esophagus does not relax properly. Achalasia is the opposite condition of GERD. Patients with Achalasia have an overly tight lower esophageal sphincter.
Acid reflux, commonly associated with GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), affects around 60 million American’s every month, and nearly 25 million people every day. Acid reflux is typically caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that allows stomach acid and bile to leak into the esophagus. Acid reflux often presents as heartburn. Frequent reflux is typically caused by a more serious underlying chronic condition like Gastro Esophageal Reflux disease.