GERD

Philip L. Leggett, MD -  - General Surgery

Philip L. Leggett, MD

General Surgery & Acid Reflux Treatment located in Houston, TX

About 20% of adults in the United States suffer from some degree of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause significant pain and potentially severe complications. Philip L. Leggett, MD, and Seeyuen Lee, MD, serve the Houston area and are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of your GERD symptoms. For a consultation, call the office today or schedule an appointment online.

GERD Q & A

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic, severe form of acid reflux. Acid reflux is a condition where acid from the stomach leaks or flows back into the esophagus. Acidic digestive fluids damage the lining of the esophagus, causing pain, irritation, and a burning sensation in the chest and throat.

The team may diagnose you with GERD if you have acid reflux two or more times a week. Uncontrolled GERD causes long-term complications, including esophageal erosion, Barrett’s esophagus, and bleeding ulcers.

What causes GERD?

GERD is the result of a weakened esophageal sphincter, which usually prevents food and gastric acid from leaving the stomach. A hiatal hernia can also keep your sphincter from working effectively, causing acid reflux and GERD.

You may also be at risk of GERD if you:

  • Are obese
  • Are a smoker
  • Are pregnant
  • Eat fatty or spicy foods
  • Drink coffee, tea, or alcohol
  • Eat immediately before bed or before lying down

For many, GERD symptoms could improve with lifestyle changes, including avoiding spicy foods, quitting smoking, losing weight, and being active after eating.

What are the symptoms of GERD?

Acid reflux and GERD have many symptoms in common, including:

  • Burning sensation in the chest and throat
  • Irritated or sore throat
  • Frequent belching or hiccups after eating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Foul taste in the back of the throat

GERD may have additional symptoms, including:

  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Food regurgitation
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Eroding tooth enamel
  • Severe chest pain

Severe complications of GERD, like bleeding ulcers or esophageal erosion, may cause severe nausea, vomiting blood, and black or tarry stools. Barrett’s esophagus, another complication of GERD, may not cause any symptoms but may place you at higher risk for esophageal cancer.

What are the treatment options for GERD?

Dr. Leggett and Dr. Lee have extensive experience in treating acid reflux, GERD, and their potential complications, and they offer a range of treatment options. Whenever possible, they seek to provide minimally invasive or nonsurgical options for treatment.

Your plan of care may include a combination of treatments, including:

  • Medicines: including antacids, antibiotics, and acid production blockers
  • Laparoscopic Toupet fundoplication: to support and tighten your esophageal sphincter
  • Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication: to tighten your esophageal sphincter
  • Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair: to treat the underlying cause of your GERD
  • Endoscopic sewing: to tighten the esophageal sphincter muscle
  • Endoscopic Stretta® therapy: to strengthen your esophageal sphincter muscle
  • Endoscopic resection of esophageal mucosa: to treat Barrett’s esophagus
  • Radiofrequency ablation: to treat Barrett’s esophagus

The team at Philip L. Leggett, MD, offers these treatment options, as well as support for lifestyle changes that could improve and prevent recurrence of your GERD symptoms.

For a consultation about treatment options for your GERD, call today or schedule your appointment online.

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