Reflux Gets Robotic Treatment at Virginia Hospital Center
By Virginia Hospital Center | 07.23.2012
Some 40 million Americans suffer from acid reflux, a condition in which stomach acid flows backwards into the esophagus, causing a painful burning sensation. For most, heartburn is only an occasional source of discomfort that can be treated with moderate lifestyle changes such as eating earlier (three hours before bedtime) and cutting back on “trigger” foods such as caffeine, alcohol, mint, citrus or heavy spices. Medications that suppress the production of gastric acid (proton pump inhibitors or PPIs) may also be prescribed to relieve symptoms.
Medication is effective for the vast majority of individuals with acid reflux. However, some people are averse to the lifestyle changes that are necessary to feel better, and some would prefer not to stay on medication indefinitely. For others, drug therapy simply does not work. Those with persistent symptoms often assume that their reflux is untreatable and something they just have to live with. But there are alternatives when all other options have proven ineffective.
Surgical intervention is advised only for the seven to nine percent of patients whose conditions do not improve with more conservative measures. “The biggest misconception is that reflux is caused by diet,” explains laparoscopic and general surgeon Kevin Gillian, MD. “The truth is that while medications that reduce stomach acid make most people feel better, they are still refluxing. Reflux is not caused by acid or what you eat. It’s a plumbing problem. There’s usually a structural or mechanical defect that’s causing the symptoms, and that’s what surgery can fix.”
Read more | Heartburn Center at Virginia Hospital Center | da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System
Where can I go to get help for my Heartburn/GERD?
The Heartburn Center at Virginia Hospital Center
1625 N. George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: 703.717.GERD (4373)
The Virginia Hernia & Heartburn Institute