Normal Heartburn or a Real Problem? The Hidden Side of Acid Reflux

Most people know the symptoms of acid reflux, which is often classified as heartburn. Your chest will burn and you’ll feel a sour liquid or the taste of a meal in your mouth and throat. It can be an uncomfortable sensation, but with the right diet and a few antacids, it’ll go away on its own, right? Perhaps not.Most people know the symptoms of acid reflux, which is often classified as heartburn. Your chest will burn and you’ll feel a sour liquid or the taste of a meal in your mouth and throat. It can be an uncomfortable sensation, but with the right diet and a few antacids, it’ll go away on its own, right? Perhaps not.
Acid reflux is caused by the acid in your stomach flowing into your esophagus. It can be caused by a hiatal hernia when the stomach pushes up into the diaphragm, a condition known as GERD. When acid reflux and its symptoms cause trouble for you more than once a week or so, this can signal a chronic problem with your esophagus, such as inflammation or a narrowing of your esophagus.
How the Surgery Works
Surgery should only be considered if other methods of controlling heartburn (including antacids, diet changes, and other medication) haven’t fixed the problem:
● The surgeon will put a tube called an endoscope into your body with a camera that will allow him to see the problems.

● He can then cut into your stomach, and either does open or laparoscopic surgery.

● Two options are then considered.The surgeon can wrap the lower part of your stomach around the esophagus and use stitches to reinforce the bond, or they can put titanium beads around the lower esophagus to strengthen the value.

The surgery will allow acid to stay out of your esophagus, although some people will still need to take medication, change their diet, and quit smoking or drinking in order to stop the occasional symptom.
Always talk to your doctor about any frequent heartburn or bloating that you feel and let them know what type of medications that you are taking. Once surgery is on the table, keep a clear method of communication to ensure it goes smoothly.



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.


Open Hernia Pathway Reduces Post Op Pain and Visits to the ER

A new study shows that adults in San Diego who went through open inguinal hernia repair experienced reduced post-op pain. Besides, they made fewer visits to the emergency room when the hospital staff adhered to a standard clinical protocol prior, during and post surgery.


The protocols for Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) are usually discussed and mostly applied in hernia repair, even though few published studies show what works effectively and how. Most of the information on ERAS emanates from colorectal surgery with the focus being on the length of stay at the hospital and re-admission.


However, the most unusual aspect of this study is that it centers around hernia repair, and instead of looking at re-admission, it looks at the unplanned visits. In the study’s analysis, the most influential ERAS elements are patient education before the surgery and monitored anesthesia care (MAC).


• First efficiency protocol in 2011 – Surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists developed an efficiency protocol specifically for ambulatory surgery in Kaiser Permanente Southern California region. Their objective was to reduce time spent by patients at the facility. Although this led to over 50 percent drop in time that patients spent at the hospital, the staff was worried that patients could be re-admitteddue to nausea and post-op pain, or they would make more visits to the ER.

• Refined program – So the health professionals refined the program and devised an eight-element bundle based on the best practices and well-known ERAS protocols. Preoperatively, it included patient education, prescriptions, and the need for patients to carb-load prior to surgery. Preoperatively, patients were given analgesia with meloxicam or ketorolac IV, gabapentin and acetaminophen, and MAC, or local anesthesia along with regional and field blocks. The amount of intravenous fluids was below 500 ml. After operation, analgesia was continued and patients received a follow-up call within 72 hours.


During the study period, 2,390 patients went through open inguinal hernia repair and:


• Only 6 percent of patients received all of the protocol’s elements
• 5.6 of the 8 elements were conducted for each patient
• The most completed steps include preoperative prescriptions and education, at 95 percent
• 89 percent of patients received multimodal analgesia
• 38 percent had MAC anesthesia
• Only 24 percent received limited IV fluids
• The 150 people who received the eight elements experienced less post-op pain and their likelihood of returning to the hospital for urgent care was 80 percent.


Two important aspects: Researchers discovered two essential elements of the protocol – patient education and use of MAC rather than general anesthesia. Patients who got preoperative education had a higher chance (60%) of not returning to the emergency department.


On the other hand, MAC lowered the scores of post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) by 1.43. It resulted in a 66 percent lower risk that patients would go back to the emergency department to seek pain control.



Gallbladder Pain: The Common Causes and Symptoms

Gallbladder pain refers to the pain that originates from the areas in or close to the gallbladder that interfere with its functioning. Such conditions include gallstones, ascending cholangitis, biliary colic, and pancreatitis.

The gallbladder is attached to the liver, and it supplies bile, a fluid that’s yellowish brown in color that helps in fat digestion in the small intestine.

Causes of Gallbladder Pain

• Gallstones -The stones form because of an imbalanced cholesterol level in the body. They can also form if the gallbladder doesn’t empty efficiently. Their size varies from one to several millimeters. They don’t usually cause problems until they grow big and block the bile ducts, which cause pain. Their symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), severe abdominal pain, and fever.
• Cholecystitis –Often, the gallbladder can get inflamed because gallstones block the ducts that exit the gallbladder. The other causes of cholecystitis are tumors and bile duct problems that obstruct bile flaw.

Symptoms of Gallbladder Pain

• Biliary colic – This is where one experiences sudden pain in the upper-right abdomen, although it may move to other abdominal area parts. Consuming fatty food can trigger biliary colic; it’s typically accompanied by vomiting and nausea. The pain can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to five hours.
• Acute pancreatitis – The condition results from the inflammation of one’s pancreas – an organ responsible for secreting digestive enzymes. The common bile duct connects the pancreas to the gallbladder. Acute pancreatitis can cause severe abdominal pain usually felt in the back and below the ribs. It’s associated with vomiting and nausea.
• Cholangitis –It’s caused by a bacterial infection in the bile duct. The infection originates from the small intestine. Jaundice, pain in the right upper quadrant, and fever are the main symptoms of this condition.
• Other symptoms – They include weakness, heartburn, chest pain, sweating, increased pain when breathing deeply, acute abdominal pain, and pain between the shoulder blades.

If you experience intense abdominal pain, it’s recommended that you seek medical attention right away to rule out any life-threatening condition.


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.


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.

Acid Reflux And Exercise: Get The Facts

Acid reflux is a painful condition that results when the stomach’s acids back up into the esophagus. When the condition is chronic, it may have progressed to become a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short. If left unchecked, both conditions can cause damage to the esophagus courtesy of that backflow of acid. In some cases, people may even find their risk for developing esophageal cancer increases.

While the connection between exercise and GERD is a murky area for some sufferers, there are some compelling reasons why exercise should be considered even when the condition is present. As it turns out, obesity is one of the prime contributing factors to GERD in many cases. With that in mind, shedding pounds can greatly help reduce symptoms. What’s more, very particular types of exercise can be helpful in treating the condition.

Researchers have found that certain types of exercise can be very helpful for people who suffer from GERD. In fact, many say moderate forms can be quite useful in contributing to treatments. Here are a few of the exercise types that can help patients who suffer from GERD address weight without necessarily agitating the condition:

• Moderate, less agitating exercise – While running might be off the table, researchers have found that working out on a stationary bike can help incorporate fat-burning cardio workouts into the routine of GERD patients.
• Walking – Fast-paced walking can be a good exercise start for GERD patients.
• Weight lifting that doesn’t involve lying flat – It might be best to avoid bench presses and leg curls, but other weight lifting exercises might prove to be helpful.

People who suffer from acid reflux or GERD should discuss exercise options with their healthcare providers. Surgical intervention may be recommended for people who suffer from acid reflux. Bariatric surgery may also be in order to address obesity if it is a related concern.