What is acid reflux?
Reflux is very common in the United States. Acid reflux is when stomach acid goes back up the esophagus causing heartburn and a bad taste in your mouth. This happens when your esophageal sphincter muscle is weak causing this acid to backflow into the esophagus. A hernia can also cause reflux to occur. Long-term damage and untreated acid reflux can lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, which can possibly lead to esophageal cancer.
Treatment and surgery for acid refluxMedications that are over-the-counter can be used for acid reflux along with other lifestyle changes mentioned below. If medications and lifestyle changes do not improve symptoms then minimally invasive surgery may be beneficial. There is a dramatic improvement of symptoms of reflux within a few days after bariatric surgery, especially for those patients undergoing gastric bypass. Bariatric surgery may also reverse Barrett’s esophagus and thereby reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. Most patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy have major improvement in GERD, but about 30% of patients may continue to require long-term heartburn medication.
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With Dr. Alibhai’s training in Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery he performs a wide range of General Surgical Procedures:
Abdominal Wall Hernias
Mustafa H. Alibhai, MD, FACS, FASMBS
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Lifestyle changes to improve acid reflux symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Eat small frequent meals
- Avoid laying down while eating
- Avoiding acidic, spicy, or high-fat foods that worsen symptoms