It’s important to treat GERD quickly to avoid long-term health risks, including ulcers, bleeding, esophagitis or Barrett’s esophagus. Treatment for GERD may include medication or lifestyle changes. Your gastroenterologist will discuss which treatment option is best for you, including:
Improve your health – If you smoke, your doctor will discuss how quitting can help relieve GERD symptoms. Losing weight can also help improve acid reflux.
Adjust eating habits – Eating small, frequent meals, avoiding foods and drinks that worsen symptoms, and staying up right (without lying down) for three hours after meals can help avoid acid reflux.
Raise head of the bed – Placing wood blocks or another solid item under the bedposts by the head of the bed will keep you at an incline while sleeping to relieve GERD symptoms.
Medication – Your gastroenterologist will discuss which medication is right for your GERD. Antacids, foaming agency, H2 blockers or a proton pump inhibitor can help address the source of your heartburn and improve your symptoms.
Surgery – Surgery may be needed to address severe GERD that isn’t managed with medication or diet and lifestyle modification. At Temple Health, we offer a wide range of surgical options for diagnosing and treating GERD, including fundoplication, endoscopic techniques and LINX, an innovative and minimally invasive surgery that helps prevent reflux.
The LINX procedure is done laparoscopically to reduce symptoms of GERD on a daily basis. Surgeons place 3 or 4 small incisions in the abdomen to implant the LINX device.
It's a quick procedure and minimally invasive. Patients often go home from the hospital the very same day.
The LINX device is also flexible, meaning when a patient swallows food or water, the device will expand to allow food to enter the stomach. Then almost immediately, it will close again to prevent reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.
The device is safe and effective in the long-term.