Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder cause by gastric acid flowing from the stomach into the esophagus. Left untreated, GERD can develop into more serious conditions, including cancer for a small percentage of GERD sufferers.
Each year, Methodist Hospitals Digestive Center physicians diagnose and treat hundreds of adults with GERD. These specialists routinely work collaboratively as a team, are skilled in distinguishing GERD from other disorders that my cause similar symptoms, and generally diagnose issues and recommend treatment options within a short period of time.
The Methodist Hospitals Digestive Center employs the latest, most reliable technologies and techniques to accurately diagnose GERD, including:
EGD or Upper Endoscopy
This procedure allows Methodist Hospitals physicians to examine the inside of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, and, in necessary, insert instruments through a scope to remove sample tissues for biopsy.
This test enables Methodist Hospitals physicians to measure the strength of muscles in the esophagus. It is useful in evaluating GERD as well as swallowing abnormalities.
Bravo pH Monitoring System
Revolutionizing the standard for diagnosing GERD, Bravo pH monitoring show when and how much stomach acid is refluxing into the esophagus. It involves implanting a small capsule in the esophagus and monitoring acid reflux activity over 48 hours.
The treatment and management of GERD includes lifestyle changes, medications and, in many cases, a medical procedure. Medications do not stop the reflux completely and can have side effects that may make long-term use problematic. The Methodist Hospitals Digestive Center offers these solutions for those seeking more permanent solutions:
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)
Methodist Hospitals is one of the few Northwest Indiana hospitals offering TIF treatment for patients with GERD. TIF is an innovative, minimally-invasive procedure performed using the FDA-cleared EsophyX® device attached to a standard endoscope. Its benefits include shorter hospital stays, reduced patient discomfort, quicker recover and no visible scarring. This incisionless procedure greatly reduces the risks associated with blood loss, the need for transfusions, surgical infection and incisional herniation.
Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication
Performed as a laparoscopic procedure requiring only tiny incisions in the stomach, fundoplication is the standard surgical treatment for GERD. Patients are able to leave the hospital within one to three days after the procedure, and return to work in two to three weeks.
Because not all GERD sufferers are candidate for the TIF or Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication procedures, a thorough evaluation by a Methodist Hospitals gastroenterologist and surgeon is required.