Chronic Acid Reflux & GERD

If you have heartburn twice a week or more, you may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Heartburn is the most common symptom, but you may also experience:

  • Regurgitation
  • Hoarseness or sore throat
  • Frequent swallowing
  • Asthma or asthma-like symptoms
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Reflux-related sleep disorders
  • Yellow fluid or stains on pillow after sleep
  • Excessive clearing of the throat
  • Persistent cough
  • Burning in the mouth or throat
  • Intolerance of certain foods
  • Bloating
  • Dental erosions or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation

GERD FAQs

GERD is caused by anatomic changes in the body’s natural antireflux valve, or gastroesophageal valve (GEV). Normally, after swallowing the valve between the esophagus and stomach opens to allow food to pass, then it closes to prevent the stomach contents from refluxing into the esophagus. Excessive weight, diet, aging and injuries to the abdomen are among the factors contributing to the deterioration of the antireflux valve.
The most common options are diet and lifestyle changes, and medication. For moderate to severe GERD, your doctor may recommend a surgical option, including TIF, an incisionless surgical solution.

TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) treats the underlying cause of GERD without incisions. This innovative procedure reconstructs the antireflux valve and restores the body’s natural protection against reflux.

For many patients medications may alleviate GERD symptoms. However, they don’t solve the underlying anatomical problem, generally don’t stop disease progression, and evidence shows that long term proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy increases the risk of hip fractures.

  • Eliminates or reduces need for acid reflux medication
  • Eliminates painful symptoms
  • No visible scars
  • Most patients go home the next day
  • Faster recovery time compared to traditional surgery

As a low-risk solution, TIF is often appropriate for a wide range of GERD sufferers, including those who are:

  • No longer adequately responding to or are dissatisfied with pharmaceutical therapies
  • Experiencing heartburn or non-heartburn symptoms of GERD
  • Concerned about long-term effects of taking pills
TIF procedures have been covered by Medicare and select private plans. Private health plans typically require you or your surgeon to obtain preauthorization for an elective surgery.
TIF is provided by specially trained surgeons. Locally, Mohan Kulkarni, MD, FRCSC, is pleased to assist patients suffering with GERD by offering the TIF procedure.

Severe chest pain is not always present with a heart attack, especially for older adults, people with diabetes and women. They may experience sudden shortness of breath, coughing, dizziness, fatigue or weakness. Don’t take a chance. Call 9-1-1.