Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a chronic digestive disease in which acid and bile flow back from the stomach into the esophagus, creating pain and often causing damage to the lining of the esophagus.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also referred to as acid reflux, is a chronic digestive disease in which acid and bile flow back from the stomach into the esophagus, creating pain and often causing damage to the lining of the esophagus. GERD is caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter. Many people have heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion on an occasional basis. However, when GERD symptoms occur regularly, medical advice may be necessary. At UT Health Austin, we understand that pain can greatly impact your quality of life, and we are dedicated to alleviating your symptoms.
There are three different treatment strategies for GERD: lifestyle modifications, medication and surgical intervention. Lifestyle modifications include weight loss, raising the head of the bed at night, smoking cessation, avoiding food triggers, avoidance of alcohol can help improve symptoms.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec and Nexium have been the mainstay of treatment for many years. These medications work by decreasing the amount of acid that the stomach normally secretes. It is important to note, however, that these medications do not fix the weakened valve thereby they do not prevent the act of reflux. Medications are effective at alleviating the symptoms of heartburn, healing erosions to the lining of the esophagus, and overall are thought to be safe.
Some patients who suffer from GERD may require surgery. Surgical procedures aim to fix the cause of acid reflux by strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter and preventing reflux. The majority of patients no longer require medical therapy following surgery.
No matter what treatment you require, our team of experts is dedicated to developing a customized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, so you can focus on what really matters.
Care Team Approach
Digestive Health, a clinical partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin, takes a multidisciplinary approach to your care. This means you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines. Your care team will include gastroenterologists, surgical and non-surgical heartburn and esophageal disorders specialists, physician assistants, nurses, advanced practice providers, dietitians, social workers, and more, providing unparalleled care for patients every step of the way. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to identify new therapies to improve treatment outcomes. We are committed to communicating and coordinating your care with your other healthcare providers to ensure that we are providing you with comprehensive, whole-person care.