Heartburn feels like an uncomfortable, burning sensation in your chest or throat. It often occurs after eating, when gastric acid from your stomach flows back into your esophagus. While occasional heartburn is common, frequent heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease.
GERD—also known as acid reflux—is a chronic digestive disorder. It can cause persistent heartburn and impact your quality of life. Certain lifestyle issues can cause GERD, including being overweight, overeating, smoking, drinking alcohol, consuming caffeine, using aspirin or OTC pain medications, or eating citrus, spicy, or fatty foods.
Diet and lifestyle changes can help you manage the symptoms of GERD. Depending on the severity, medications or surgical options can also be used to treat this digestive disorder. While medications like antacids can provide symptom relief, having a daily dependence on medication can become burdensome over time.
Two long-term solutions include LNF (Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication) and LINX. LNF permanently alters your stomach’s anatomy as a surgeon wraps and sews the top of your stomach around the esophagus to reduce reflux. LINX involves implanting a quarter-sized device around your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to prevent stomach acid from entering your esophagus. While LNF is an older procedure, LINX is FDA-approved and showing promising results as the preferred treatment for GERD.
|Repairs sphincter defects||X||✔||✔|
|Minimally invasive surgery||X||✔||✔|
|Preserves patient’s gastric anatomy||✔||X||✔|
|Permanently alters patient’s stomach||X||✔||X|
If you’re suffering from persistent heartburn and want to learn more about LINX, schedule an appointment with an expert at the Heartburn & Acid Reflux Institute, located in The Woodlands. Our team can help you determine the best course of treatment.
NIH - Acid Reflux (GER & GERD) in Adults
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NIH - Treatment for GER & GERD