Having gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is very uncomfortable. It can cause a burning sensation in the chest, difficulty swallowing, sensation of a lump in the throat, and regurgitation of sour liquid or food.

What is GERD?

GERD is a digestive disorder that involves the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach. Normally, the LES opens to allow food into the stomach and closes to keep food and gastric juices from flowing back into the esophagus. GERD occurs when the LES is weak or opens inappropriately.

Our expert surgeons at Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville want you to know that if you have a hiatal hernia or if you are a smoker, you have a higher risk of developing GERD. Some symptoms of this condition can also be triggered by lifestyle (i.e. obesity and poor diet) and pregnancy.

How is GERD managed?

Initially, your doctor will recommend making some lifestyle changes and taking over-the-counter medications. Some of the most common OTC medications for GERD include antacids, H2 receptor blockers (e.g. famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine), and proton pump inhibitors (e.g. lansoprazole, omeprazole).

If symptoms do not improve after a few weeks, your doctor may recommend prescription medications or surgery.

What are the surgical options for GERD?

Usually, GERD can be managed by medications. But if they are no longer helping l or if you don’t want to take medications long-term, surgery may be an option.

One of the surgical options for GERD offered by Premier Surgical in Knoxville is Nissen Fundoplication.

It’s a laparoscopic procedure for GERD and hiatal hernia.

Premier general surgeon Dr. David Harrell explains how the procedure is performed: “During this procedure, the stomach is pulled back down (where it is supposed to be) in the abdomen, and then the hole in the muscle is closed with mesh to make the patient’s own tissue stronger so that it is less likely to come back in the future. The stomach tissue is wrapped around the swallowing tube during the procedure to recreate the stomach valve and decrease the reflux. Only safe mesh is used for the procedure and certainly no recalled meshes are used.”

If your GERD is keeping you from living your best life and medication is no longer helping, surgery to treat acid reflux may be an option. Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville has an excellent team.

You can request an appointment with us online.