Utilizing the LINX reflux management system.
Presented at SAGES Annual Meeting, March 2016
Introduction to GERD
GERD is a disorder of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter. In healthy patients, the Lower Esophageal Sphincter creates a valve that prevents bile, pancreatic enzymes, and stomach acid from traveling back up into the esophagus where they can cause burning and damage to the esophageal tissue. When the Lower Esophageal Sphincter is weak, this allows acid, bile and pancreatic enzymes to reflux up into the esophagus. Most commonly, the refluxed gastric contents are acidic, and typical medical therapy for reflux disease consists of drugs to neutralize or suppress gastric acidity.
GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (valve) between the stomach and esophagus is weak or opens abnormally. Stomach juices reflux into the esophagus and may injure the esophagus and cause symptoms of heartburn or regurgitation.
However, bile and pancreatic enzymes are also contained within the fluid that is refluxed up into the esophagus. Neutralization or blockage of acid secretion does not prevent injury to the esophagus from these non-acid components of refluxed material. Consequently, one of the major pitfalls of medical therapy for reflux disease is that although acid production is suppressed and heartburn is often decreased or eliminated, reflux and esophageal injury may continue. It has been shown in multiple studies that patients reflux the same amount on or off medications.
Physicians at the University of Southern California discuss topics you care about. In this installment, John C. Lipham, M.D., chief of the division of Upper GI and General Surgery at the Keck Medical Center of USC examines reflux disease, the complications associated with it, and novel treatments available at USC.
Chapter 1: GERD and the Progression to Esophageal Cancer