Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices or food and fluids back up from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD affects people of all ages—from infants to older adults. People with pulmonary problems like Asthma and COPD are at higher risk of developing GERD. Asthma flare-ups can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach contents to flow back, or reflux, into the esophagus.

On the other hand, acid reflux can make asthma symptoms worse by irritating the airways and lungs. This, in turn, can lead to progressively more serious asthma. Also, this irritation can trigger allergic reactions and make the airways more sensitive to environmental conditions such as smoke or cold air.


Everyone has experienced gastroesophageal reflux. It happens when you burp, have an acid taste in your mouth, or have heartburn. Other symptoms that occur less frequently but can indicate that you could have GERD are:

  • Acid Regurgitation (Retesting Your Food After Eating)
  • Difficulty or Pain When Swallowing
  • Sudden Excess of Saliva
  • Chronic Sore Throat
  • Laryngitis or Hoarseness
  • Inflammation of the Gums
  • Cavities
  • Bad Breath
  • A Recurrent or Chronic Cough
  • Chest Pain


  • Upper Endoscopy
  • pH testing (Bravo Probe)
  • Esophageal Manometry
  • Barium Swallow


The treatment for GERD is initially nonsurgical. Lifestyle changes to treat GERD include:

  • Elevate the Head of the Bed 6–8 Inches
  • Lose Weight
  • Stop Smoking
  • Decrease Alcohol Intake
  • Limit Meal Size and Avoid Heavy Evening Meals
  • Do Not Lie Down Within Two to Three Hours of Eating
  • Decrease Caffeine Intake

Acid suppression medications are indicated along with lifestyle changes.

Surgery is indicated if there has been a complication associated with GERD and/or the symptoms persist after lifestyle changes and medical management has failed.


GERD not amenable to medical management requires surgery. GERD is also frequently associated with Hiatal Hernia.

We offer minimally invasive approaches for the surgical treatment of GERD and Hiatal Hernia.

Operations can be performed laparoscopic or robotic. We also frequently get referrals for failed operations that require complex surgical approaches via the chest. Our practice has a track record of stellar outcomes for such procedures.