Acid Reflux Specialist

Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia

Bariatric & General Surgery located in Reston, VA

Acid reflux, sometimes called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), affects around 20% of Americans. At the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia in Reston, Virginia, Brett Sachse, MD, Amanda Pysher, MD, Hiral Patel, MD, and Ranjit Pullarkat, MD, offer expert treatment including surgical procedures like Nissen fundoplication to repair your esophageal sphincter and relieve your symptoms. Call the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia or schedule a consultation online today for personalized treatment for acid reflux.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a painful condition that occurs when weakness in the valve between your stomach and esophagus allows stomach fluids to backwash into your esophagus. Your stomach fluids irritate the lining of your esophagus and cause symptoms, including:

  • Heartburn
  • Belching
  • Chest pain
  • Regurgitation
  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent cough
  • Sleep disruptions

Many factors can cause acid reflux. For example, some children are born with congenital abnormalities that allow reflux. Other patients develop acid reflux as they age, and their muscles become weak. Obesity can increase your risk of developing acid reflux. Additionally, an injury to your chest can stretch or weaken your esophageal sphincter. 

When should I talk to a doctor about acid reflux?

Many people experience heartburn and other signs of acid reflux occasionally. For example, eating a large meal or eating too late at night can cause temporary reflux. However, you should talk to the team at the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia about your symptoms if you have frequent or chronic reflux or if you take over-the-counter acid-reducing medication more than twice a week. 

Chest pain is a common symptom of GERD. If you have chest pain, especially when it accompanies jaw or arm pain or shortness of breath, you should go to your nearest emergency room, as these symptoms are also signs of a heart attack. 

How can surgery stop acid reflux?

The team at the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia provides comprehensive exams to determine if surgery is the right way to treat your acid reflux. In many cases, you can control your condition with antacids and prescription-strength medications. 

However, in severe cases, you might benefit from a Nissen fundoplication. This procedure is a standard laparoscopic procedure that strengthens your esophageal sphincter. 

During a Nissen fundoplication, your surgeon takes your fundus — the upper curve of your stomach — and wraps it around the bottom of your esophagus. They stitch it into place, which provides additional muscular support to your valve. 

The team uses minimally invasive laparoscopy to perform Nissen fundoplication. You need to spend a couple of days recovering in the hospital but can usually get back to your regular routine within a couple of weeks. Your surgeon gives you personalized advice on what to expect during your recovery. 

If acid reflux is interfering with your quality of life, call the Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia or make an appointment online today to learn about your treatment options.