Next Steps for Treating Your Acid Reflux: Is Surgery Right for You?

Acid reflux disease can be a significant source of discomfort for patients of all ages. Treatment of acid reflux can require a lot of trial-and-error, and options include:


  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescription medications
  • Dietary changes and minimizing spicy foods
  • Lifestyle changes, such as leaving at least three hours between eating and sleeping.


Some patients see no improvements no matter how many medications they try or how many foods they remove from their diet – but did you know that acid reflux disease can be treated with surgery? While mild or moderate cases of acid reflux disease often respond to medication and diet changes, more persistent cases can be treated with acid reflux surgery. Texas patients can reach out to our experienced and knowledgeable offices anytime to consult with our doctors about available options.


Prevalence of Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a chronic source of acid reflux. GERD is caused by weakness in the esophageal sphincter that allows stomach contents to surge up into the esophagus. While many adults experience acid reflux after eating certain foods, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that approximately 20% of the U.S. population has GERD, which causes ongoing and uncomfortable acid reflux.


In other words, acid reflux is nothing to be ashamed of – and it can be caused by factors completely outside of your control. Acute cases of acid reflux are often easy to fix, but chronic cases of GERD are common enough that the medical community has come up with new ways of treating this disorder.


Considering Surgery

If left untreated, severe GERD can turn into Barrett’s esophagus, which increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Fortunately, medical improvements have made acid reflux surgery highly successful, low risk, and easy to recover from.


The primary type of acid reflux surgery, fundoplication, involves tightening the lower esophageal sphincter. In some cases, this surgery can be performed laparoscopically with only a few incisions. Recovery time can vary, but the minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure can allow patients to return to sedentary work within a week and a half.


If your acid reflux isn’t going away with medication and diet changes, it’s time to consider other options. Acid reflux patients in Texas can reach out to us for safe and caring treatment in our Plano and Dallas locations.



Acid Reflux Might Increase Risks of Head and Neck Cancer in Seniors

New studies and research have been performed to examine if there actually is a relationship between acid reflux, and head and neck cancer in seniors.

Every year in the United States, it is projected that around 62,000 Americans are most likely to be diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Doctors provide several reasons and factors for this estimated statistics, such as viral infections, inflammation of theupper respiratory tractand most prevailing of all, usage of tobacco and alcohol.

But now,new studies have found that there is one more factor that can increase the risks of developing head and neck cancer in the elderly. Scientists and analysts investigated the relationship between heartburn or acid reflux and UADT cancers. The research showed mixed results.

Risks of laryngeal cancermay becaused by Acid reflux
In order to learn more about acid reflux and head and neck cancer, a group of 13,805 diagnosed with UADT cancer, individuals of ages 66 and above were selected. To conduct a fair study, another group of healthy 13,805 individuals of the same sex and age bracket were included.

From the group of cancer patients, more than 60 percent were found to have laryngeal cancer. The focus group of cancer patients included 3,418 females who had been spotted with malignant oropharynx, larynx, tonsil, hypopharynx,paranasal sinusesand nasopharynx.

The findings of the research showed that a strong link was seen between acid reflux and cancer of paranasal sinuses, throat and tonsils. The scientists especially found the link to be the strongest by the malignancyshown in the larynx.

The conclusion that was derived from the results of the studyis that senior American patients suffering from acid reflux have 3.47 times higher rate of developing laryngeal, 3.23 of developing hypopharyngeal, 2.88 of developing oropharyngeal and 2.37 of developing tonsillar cancers than those who did not suffer from acid reflux.

Limitations Found In This Study
There were certain limitations that showed up in this study. This study was first conducted in the United States. This research was an observational study and more research needs to be done. Researchers have said that this study needs to be tested on a younger group, to further authenticate if the chances of developing UADT cancers due to acid reflux is high just for seniors.

How Abdominal Cosmetic Surgery Can Help with Weight-Loss Transformations

Obesity is a serious concern across the United States where it is estimated at least a third of the population weighs in significantly over recommended amounts. Strongly linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, obesity is an issue many people choose to tackle head on. As the weight comes off, however, the body may not always readjust in ways that are aesthetically pleasing. Excess skin, weakened muscles and other visual concerns may linger. Abdominal cosmetic surgery can help address these concerns and others.

While the specifics of abdominal cosmetic surgery will vary based on a patient’s unique case, most people seek out this form of assistance when they experience muscle laxity and/or have loose, excess skin on the abdomen. These concerns are common following successful weight-loss procedures, but often also affect women after pregnancy. Removal of excess skin combined with an abdominal wall reconstruction can help create a firmer, smoother abdominal profile. Other areas that may benefit from cosmetic procedures to remove excess skin include the thighs, breasts, arms and back.

Depending on the particulars of a patient’s case, abdominal cosmetic surgery may be covered by insurance. This is simply because these procedures not only improve aesthetics, but they have been proven to help increase the long-term probability of weight loss success. When people look better, they tend to feel better about themselves. This, in turn, can provide the motivation necessary to ensure long-term weight loss and maintenance.

Weight loss surgery is just the first step in a journey to shed pounds, keep them off and create a leaner, healthier appearance. If excess skin and muscle weakening are concerns following dramatic weight loss or in other circumstances, abdominal cosmetic surgery may help. People who are concerned about their post-surgical or postpartum appearances are advised to talk to their healthcare providers about this option.


Do Gallstones Always Demand Surgery?

The chronic pain and discomfort associated with gallstones and gallstone pancreatitis often drives people into emergency rooms or their doctors’ offices seeking help. For many of these people, a simple surgical procedure will be recommended to address concerns related to gallstones once and for all.

While addressing the sometimes-severe pain of gallstones is often a priority, some people may find their symptoms aren’t quite so serious. When that is the case, they may wonder if surgery is absolutely necessary. Researchers have found that it may not always be 100-percent necessary to undergo surgery if symptoms of gallstone pancreatitis don’t warrant intervention.

Gallstone pancreatitis arises when a gallstone or gallstones manage to become lodged in a duct that leads to the pancreas. This may block pancreatic enzymes from leaving the pancreas and assisting with digestion. As the enzymes back up into the pancreas, they may create inflammation and pain. The standard intervention in this case is to remove the gallbladder entirely.

Researchers interested in seeing if the surgery was always necessary with gallstone pancreatitis looked into the cases of more than 17,000 people with gallstone pancreatitis. Nearly 80 percent of the patients had their gallbladders removed. Roughly 2,500 patients did not have their gallbladders removed over the course of a four-year period. These patients were reportedly doing okay that far down the road without major recurrence concerns.

The bottom line, researchers say, is that some people may fare well without surgery. Further study is needed to understand why that is the case and when avoidance of surgery might be advisable. In the meantime, people who are diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis are urged to work closely with their doctors to find the right treatment for their case. Most commonly, surgery to remove the gallbladder will be recommended to prevent recurrences and further complications.



Stomach Surgery in Dallas: How to Explore the Options

Whether there’s a need to repair a hernia, remove a gallbladder or address obesity through a bariatric surgery, finding the right doctor is important. While many surgeons offer these services, it can provide peace of mind to work directly with a physician who specializes in abdominal procedures.

Finding the right doctor to perform stomach surgery in Dallas is both an objective and subjective pursuit. Here are some things to consider when making a final choice for someone to perform hernia repair or another abdominal procedure:

• Experience and expertise – Look into a surgeon’s background, level of experience and the type of procedures he or she typically performs. Those who specialize strictly in stomach surgery in Dallas are likely to have a great deal more experience in procedures like gallbladder removal and bariatric surgery.

• Techniques used – For people who require stomach surgery in Dallas to remove a gallbladder or repair a hernia, this can be an important question to answer. These procedures can now be performed in a less invasive manner using laparoscopic techniques. When this type of surgery is indicated and a surgeon is skilled in its use, the benefits to patients are well worth exploring.

• Bedside manner – This is where the subjective part of the search comes in. If a procedure is considered an emergency, like repairing a strangulated hernia, the point will be moot. Should time be afforded, however, it’s often best to work with a surgeon that a patient feels comfortable with. This can be important, for example, if bariatric surgery is being considered. Patients should feel like their surgeons have their best interest at heart, provide them the information they need to make informed decisions and will provide necessary support before and after a procedure is performed.

Stomach surgery in Dallas offers patients with a lot of options for choosing the right physician to handle their case. Taking a little time to explore the possibilities can provide people with peace of mind as they work to address concerns like hernias, gallbladder complaints or obesity.

Gallstones: Can They Be Ignored?

The gallbladder is a tiny part of the body most people never think twice about. After all, when it does its job, there’s really no reason to consider it. This little sac is designed to store and release bile into the body during the digestive process. It is essentially tasked with making the digestion of fats flow a little more smoothly. When it performs as expected, the gallbladder is easy to ignore. If something goes wrong, however, discomfort and pain are likely.

Gallstones are the most common gallbladder-related concern that can arise. These form when there is too much cholesterol in the bile. Essentially, excess cholesterol promotes the formation of crystals that clump together to create the stones. If left unchecked, the stones can impede the flow of bile and cause a fair amount of pain in the process. Bouts of pain are known as gallbladder attacks. Other complications may arise, as well. As bile becomes trapped in the gallbladder thanks to those gallstones, it can lead to inflammation, which can cause a host of other problems.

Gallstones that don’t cause symptoms or interfere with digestion are generally not a cause for action. If symptoms, such as pain, vomiting and nausea occur, doctors will generally recommend the removal of the gallbladder itself. This involves a surgical procedure that is generally performed laparoscopically. Once the gallbladder is out of the body, the pain associated with attacks should go away. The good news is that people can lead long, healthy lives without a gallbladder.

Gallstones are not a reason for alarm. If they form without symptoms, it is generally okay to leave them in place. Should pain, discomfort or inflammation go along with their arrival, medical intervention is a wise choice to prevent complications.

People who suspect they have gallbladder-related pain should speak with a healthcare provider. The best recommendation will come from a physician with information about the particular case.

Tips For Avoiding Gallstones and Gallbladder Issues

Anyone who has suffered from gallstones knows this is a condition that’s best avoided, if possible. Quite painful and often only resolved through surgical intervention, this potential development can sometimes be prevented or treated through calculated lifestyle changes.

The gallbladder itself is a small storage sac in the body that stores bile made by the liver. When food is consumed, bile is injected into the small intestine to help break up fat. When the components of bile manage to solidify, they form stones that can vary in size and severity. In some cases, gallstones may be treated without surgical intervention. Oftentimes, however, a removal of the gallbladder is required to alleviate pain and recurrence issues.

There are lifestyle changes that may help prevent gallstones and assist in the treatment process should they develop. Some of the suggestions include:

• Eating a healthy diet – A healthy, well-balanced diet that is high in fiber and vitamin C can be especially helpful. Be mindful of vitamin C overuse, however, as it can increase the risk of kidney stones – an equally painful development.
• Drinking coffee – A number of studies have found that drinking coffee on a regular basis, at least for women, can reduce the risk of gallbladder disease.
• Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol – Some studies have suggested that drinking no more than two standard drinks a day can help lower the risk of gallbladder disease.
• Avoiding rapid weight loss – While obesity is also a risk factor, fast weight loss can increase the risk of gallstone formation. If weight loss is necessary, be sure to take a steady, healthy approach and don’t eliminate fat from the diet entirely.

Gallstones may not always be avoidable. If this condition is a concern, be sure to speak with a qualified healthcare provider. Courtesy of advanced surgical techniques, having the gallbladder removed when it is necessary, generally only involves a fairly simple procedure.