Top GERD Doctor in Merced, CA
Dr. Alfred B Johnson is an expert GERD specialist who provides minimally invasive procedures for GERD / Acid Reflux Symptoms. Call to request an appointment today.
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a long-term medical condition that affects the function of the lower esophageal sphincter. The uncomfortable symptoms of GERD are caused when the contents of a person’s stomach are allowed to travel back up into the esophagus because the lower esophageal sphincter is dysfunctional or too weak, thus allowing the contents of your stomach to travel in the opposite direction is should. GERD can cause intense acid indigestion or heartburn in many people, including women who are pregnant.
While there are several factors that can increase your chance of developing GERD, hiatal hernias are considered by most doctors to be a major contributing factor. Hiatal hernias occur when a person’s stomach bulges upward into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus. This type of hernia can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, causing it to malfunction and leading to the symptoms of GERD. In addition to hiatal hernias, lifestyle choices including alcohol consumption and eating an abundance for fried or fatty foods can trigger the reflux and heartburn associated with GERD. Cigarette smoking can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax too much, increasing your chances for developing GERD. People who are obese or women who are pregnant may also be at greater risk.
For some people, changes to diet and lifestyle may help reduce the symptoms of GERD. However, many patients will choose to treat their condition with medication management or surgical intervention. Hiatal hernia repair surgery may be a good option for patients who have developed other complications as a result of their hernia. This type of surgery is typically performed using robotic assisted laparoscopy, making it a minimally invasive and relatively safe procedure. Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) procedures can address GERD symptoms without any incisions. During a TIF procedure, a flexible endoscopic device will be used to repair the body’s natural anti-reflux valve from inside the stomach, negating the need for incisions. However, when a patient does have a significant hiatal hernia, the hernia is repairs through 4 small incisions using the robot to performing the TIF procedure.