In mild cases of heartburn, patients normally find relief from dietary and lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, eating smaller meals, avoiding alcohol, abstaining from reclining within 3 hours of eating, quitting smoking and losing weight.
If lifestyle changes do not sufficiently relieve symptoms, acid-blocking medication may be prescribed. The most commonly prescribed class of medications is called proton pump inhibitors (PPI). These medications block acid production in the stomach. For chronic heartburn, lifelong daily medication may be required.
Many patients find relief from GERD medications, but since the medications do not fix a weakened sphincter muscle, some patients taking GERD medication continue to suffer from symptoms such as regurgitation, chest pain, and sore throat.
If you have tried PPI medications for more than one year and are still bothered by reflux, you may consider treatment with EndoStim therapy.
EndoStim is a minimally-invasive neurostimulation therapy designed to gently restore the function of your esophagus.
The traditional anti-reflux surgery is called Fundoplication, which can be performed as a minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure. The upper part of the stomach is permanently wrapped and secured around the esophagus to create a cuff around the lower esophageal sphincter. This reinforces the LES valve and prevents reflux. Most procedures are successful in controlling heartburn, but possible long-term side effects after surgery include difficulty swallowing, difficulty vomiting, and gas bloat.