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More Than Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive condition that happens when stomach acid — and sometimes bile — flows back into the esophagus. This back flow causes uncomfortable sensations, which might prompt you to visit your doctor.

The primary symptoms of GERD include heartburn and acid reflux. These symptoms are common, but when they happen chronically — at least twice a week — they signal GERD. In GERD sufferers, symptoms might even interfere with daily life.

For many who suffer from this condition, over-the-counter medications and certain lifestyle changes can be enough to reduce the discomfort. Lifestyle changes might mean avoiding certain foods that trigger acid reflux, and not lying down too soon after eating. When these solutions are not enough to ease discomfort, a physician might recommend more powerful medication or even surgery.

Long-term sufferers of GERD are also at risk of developing a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, in which the cells of the lower esophagus become damaged from so much exposure to stomach acid. One major concern with Barrett’s esophagus is its association with an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

But only a small percentage of GERD sufferers develop Barrett’s esophagus. It’s important that a physician closely monitors both of these conditions to reduce your risk of cancer.

Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, a primary risk factor for esophageal cancer. Adena’s Medtronic Barrx radiofrequency ablation (RFA) system effectively removes precancerous cells with heat. Clinical studies show the system reduces the risk of Barrett’s esophagus progressing to esophageal cancer by more than 90%. Learn more about RFA here.

The da Vinci® Surgical System is used to tackle some of the most common surgical procedures in the U.S, including GERD. The minimally invasive technology leads to an impressive list of benefits for patients, including less pain and scarring, and a much quicker return to normal activities. Learn more about robotic surgery.


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