A female holding a chicken sandwich indicating heartburn pain

Chronic Acid Reflux Treatment (GERD)

If regular acid reflux and heartburn prevent you from enjoying daily food, drink, and activities, get professional help from Schneck. Our minimally invasive procedures can help restore the natural function of your body and reduce heartburn long-term.

What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Occasionally, the valve between the esophagus and the stomach doesn’t close when it should causing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. The burning sensation you feel is known as acid reflux or heartburn. GERD is the result of frequent or chronic acid reflux.

Every year, those who suffer from GERD collectively spend millions of dollars trying to mitigate the symptoms and side effects with over-the-counter antacids or prescription medications. Depending on the severity of the GERD you experience, surgery may be needed to improve your quality of life and bring you relief.

Schneck's surgeons can provide better long-term solutions with minimally invasive procedures.

What Are the Risks & Causes of GERD?

GERD can be caused by a variety of lifestyle or life events such as pregnancy. An unhealthy lifestyle that includes smoking or eating processed, fatty foods too often can be a contributing factor that increases your risk of experiencing GERD.

If GERD is left untreated, your risks of developing esophageal ulcers and precancerous conditions such as Barrett's esophagus increase significantly.

Common Symptoms of GERD

  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Dental issues
  • Adult on-set asthma
A male figure indicating heartburn pain

How Do You Diagnose GERD?

GERD can be diagnosed with a variety of different tests that usually begin with a physical examination and a review of your lifestyle or prior experience with the condition. To confirm their diagnosis, your doctor may recommend one of the following exams:

  • Endoscopy: a flexible tube fitted with a camera and light is inserted into your esophagus allowing your doctor to study your digestive tract.
  • Esophageal pH Test: a thin catheter is inserted through the nostril and into the esophagus while the patient swallows. A sensor on the tip of the catheter measures the level of acid present in the esophagus.
  • X-Ray: a solution of barium is given to the patient to swallow which enables a doctor to take an x-ray of the esophagus and review the results for signs of GERD.

Schneck Treatments & Surgeries for GERD

The initial treatment route taken by most people experiencing GERD involves taking a series of over-the-counter antacid medications. Persistent and painful symptoms that alter the person's quality of life are indications that another level of treatment may be necessary.

Schneck offers the following GERD surgical procedures for patients needing a secondary level of treatment:

The LINX Reflux Management System uses a small flexible band of linked titanium beads around the lower esophageal sphincter to restore the body’s natural barrier to reflux in patients with GERD. This valve normally stops stomach fluids from refluxing into the esophagus.

Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) is an endoscopy procedure that provides relief from acid reflux symptoms associated with GERD. Schneck's TIF-trained physicians use this procedure to restore the natural shape and functions of your esophageal valve using an endoscope.

The most common acid reflux procedures, Nissen or Toupet fundoplications are minimally invasive surgeries that involve wrapping the fundus section of the stomach around the esophagus to reinforce the valve.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is a form of weight-loss surgery common among patients who suffer from GERD. Our surgeons will create a small pouch out of your stomach and connect it to your small intestine, so that the food you swallow after surgery will "bypass" most of your stomach and pass through this small pouch on its way to your small intestine.

Schneck GERD Specialists

Schneck's GERD providers serve the Seymour, Indiana community with the highest level of expertise and care.

Amanda M. Dick, MD

General Surgery, da Vinci Surgery View Info »

Joyce R. Iwema, MD

General Surgery, da Vinci Surgery View Info »

G. Brandon Millick, MD

Bariatrics/Surgical Weight Loss, General Surgery, da Vinci Surgery View Info »

Cathy R. Hildebrand, NP

Bariatrics/Surgical Weight Loss View Info »

GERD FAQs

Gastroenterologists and ENTs (Ear, Nose, & Throat) are responsible for diagnosing and prescribing treatment for GERD.

Yes, an ENT, also known as an Otolaryngologists, are specialists trained to diagnose and treat GERD.

Depending on the progression and severity of the GERD you are experiencing, it may be possible to cure the symptoms permanently. Patients experiencing mild to moderate GERD may benefit from lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or improving their diet. These actions can help minimize the symptoms long enough for the acid reflux to subside.

Water is a neutral liquid that dilutes the stomach acid causing GERD. Its effect on your GERD symptoms is dependent on the size of the meal you ate and the presence of existing acid in your esophagus.