Are you feeling the burn? No, not the Bernie Sanders kind. We are talking the chronic heartburn that you’ve been taking meds for regularly. It’s a common ailment most of us suffer from that usually subsides on it’s own. But for others, the painful symptoms of heartburn is harder to get rid of and in some cases accompanied by GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, it can have debilitating affects on your daily life.
GERD is a digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid flows up and irritates the lining of the esophagus, creating acid reflux. Acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week can be categorized as GERD. But there are more signs of GERD than just that burning sensation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Here are 5 symptoms and they may surprise you:
1. CHEST PAIN:
Although mostly thought of in association with heart disease, chest pain can also be a sign of damage to your esophagus from chronic acid reflux. If you are feeling any kind of chest pain, call your doctor right away to rule out more serious issues like a heart attack.
2. TROUBLE SWALLOWING:
If you are feeling like it’s hard to swallow, it might be a symptom of GERD. The discomfort associated with acid reflux can make swallowing a chore.
3. DRY COUGH:
A dry cough is also a surprising symptom of GERD. With all the irritation in your esophagus from the stomach acid, a dry cough may result.
4. HOARSENESS OR SORE THROAT:
In addition to the dry cough, feeling hoarse or having a soar throat can also be a sign that stomach acid is irritating your esophagus.
5. FEELING LIKE THERE’S A LUMP IN YOUR THROAT:
The feeling of a lump in your throat can be very uncomfortable, but did you know it might be a sign of GERD? Prolonged exposure to stomach acid in the esophagus can make you feel many kinds of discomfort.
Not only can heartburn and GERD wreak havoc on your daily life, but it is also linked to an increased risk in esophageal cancer which makes it all the more important to get the treatment you need.
THE STRETTA PROCEDURE
The STRETTA Procedure is a non-surgical, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. Patients receive conscious sedation and the Stretta Catheter is passed through the mouth. Watch the video below to see how it works. Patients typically go home 1-2 hours after the procedure. Most patients are able to return to work and their normal activities the day after treatment, so there is minimal interruption to everyday life. The procedure usually lasts around 45 minutes.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to treat GERD and we offer a procedure called Nissen Fundoplacation. This laparoscopic surgery involves wrapping the stomach around the esophagus to improve the barrier function of the lower esophageal sphincter. It is usually a 2-4 hour procedure where you would be put under general anesthesia, with a 1-4 day hospital stay. With in 1-3 weeks you should be back to normal daily routine.