Heartburn and GERD

General & Colorectal Surgeons serving the Greater Houston area
Heartburn and GERD

Heartburn goes hand-in-hand with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that affects 20% of adults. Without treatment from Southwest Surgical Associates, GERD does more than cause severe heartburn; it also damages your esophagus. The board-certified surgeons offer today’s most advanced GERD treatments, including the LINX® Reflux Management System and transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF®). If you need relief from heartburn and GERD, call the office in Cypress, Katy, Sugarland, Pearland, or Houston, Texas, or book an appointment online today.

What are heartburn and GERD?

Heartburn, a burning pain in the middle of your chest, is the primary symptom of GERD. GERD occurs when gastric juices leave your stomach and go into your esophagus (the tube running from your throat to your stomach). The stomach juices include strong acids that irritate the esophageal lining and cause heartburn.

GERD occurs when you have an ongoing problem with acid reflux. You have GERD if you have mild acid reflux twice or more each week or moderate to severe reflux at least once a week.

What causes heartburn and GERD?

Heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD arise from the same problem: a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a round muscle that opens to let substances flow into your stomach and then closes to prevent anything from coming out.

If the LES weakens or pressure affects its ability to work properly, it relaxes when it should stay closed. As a result, you end up with acid reflux and GERD.

Regular exposure to stomach acid damages the esophagus. The ongoing damage leads to scarring, inflammation, esophageal narrowing, and Barrett’s esophagus (precancerous changes in the esophageal lining).

What other symptoms occur due to GERD?

In addition to heartburn, GERD causes:

  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Dental erosion
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bitter taste in your mouth

You may also feel like something is stuck in your throat.

How are heartburn and GERD treated?

Your Southwest Surgical Associates provider offers comprehensive treatment for heartburn and GERD. Your care plan may include lifestyle changes that help reduce stomach acid and reflux, as well as:


The first line of treatment for heartburn and GERD includes antacids (to neutralize stomach acid), H-2 receptor blockers (to reduce stomach acid production), or proton pump inhibitors (to block stomach acid production).

LINX Reflux Management System

Your provider performs laparoscopic surgery to place LINX, a flexible ring of small magnets, around the LES. The natural pressure of swallowing forces the magnets open to let substances into your stomach. Then the magnets close to stop gastric juices from getting out.

Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF)

TIF is incisionless because your provider performs an endoscopy. They guide the specialized endoscope through your mouth, down your esophagus, and into your stomach. 

Then they use tools in the endoscope to wrap the top portion of your stomach around the LES muscle, reinforcing the muscle and preventing acid reflux.

If you suffer from heartburn or GERD, call Southwest Surgical Associates or book an appointment online today.


For post op instructions click here

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