Acid Reflux Disease Care
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
The esophagus carries food from your mouth to your stomach.
Upon swallowing, a valve between the esophagus and stomach opens to allow the food to pass through. The valve then closes to prevent the stomach contents from leaking back or reflux into the esophagus.
People suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, or acid reflux disease have problems with this valve not closing properly causing acid to reflux into the esophagus.
When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn.
The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion (acid reflux). It is important to note that virtually everybody suffers from acid reflux at some point in their lives. This is very different from GERD, which represents chronic acid reflux which can lead to more serious health problems such as oesophageal cancer.
Patients who experience acid reflux more than a few times per week over the course of several months may have GERD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD. If left untreated, the stomach acid can erode the lining of the esophagus.
Acid Reflux Care in Mombasa, Kenya
Personalized care, one patient at a time
Whether you are suffering from a mild, moderate, or severe case of the disease, our doctors can perform anti-reflux surgery at Kenya Laparoscopic Surgery Services to eliminate the causes.
Our skilled, highly-experienced surgeons in Mombasa, Kenya can help eliminate the sour, burning symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If left untreated, GERD can progress into more than just periodic pain and burning sensations. Over time, the stomach acids can injure the sensitive lining in the esophagus.
This could result in bleeding or the creation of cancerous cells. To learn more about laparoscopic surgery and how it can eliminate acid-reflux,feel free schedule a consultation with the top rated general surgeon in Mombasa, Kenya.
What are the symptoms of reflux disease?
Symptoms may range from mild to severe. The primary symptom of GERD is persistent heartburn.
Other symptoms include:
- Chest pain.
- Hoarseness or a Sore throat.
- Trouble swallowing or a feeling like food or fluid is stuck in your throat.
- Dry cough.
- Discoloration of teeth and bad breath.
What are the causes & risk factors for GERD?
There are many and varied causes of GERD. They can include genetic predispositions to the disease and environmental and lifestyle factors. Some of the most commons causes of GERD include:
- Certain medications.
- Eating spicy or fatty foods regularly.
- Alcohol intake and smoking habits.
- Eating large amounts of food late at night.
- Hiatal hernia- hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach is above the diaphragm, the muscle wall that separates the stomach from the chest.
How is acid reflux prevented & reduced?
Our general surgeon in Kenya recommends making dietary and other lifestyle changes to reduce reflux and prevent damage to the esophagus caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
For some people with mild GERD symptoms, lifestyle changes alone may eliminate discomfort.
Dietary and lifestyle changes used to treat your GERD symptoms are:
- The first step in reducing GERD is often to limit foods that set off reflux. These “trigger foods” differ from person to person but often include chocolate, coffee, fried foods, peppermint, spicy foods, and carbonated beverages.
- Have your dinner 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep. Avoid lying down for at least two hours after a meal or after drinking acidic beverages, like soda, or other caffeinated beverages.
- Eat smaller and more frequent meals each day instead of a few large meals. This promotes digestion and can aid in preventing heartburn.
- Eating large amounts of food late at night.
- To prevent reflux, keep your head elevated while you sleep by using an extra pillow.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase the production of stomach acid and reduce the function of the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that keeps acid and other stomach content from re-entering the esophagus. Smoking decreases the amount of saliva, which neutralizes the acid produced by the body.
- If you are overweight or obese, in many cases, losing weight can help.
How is reflux disease diagnosed?
If you have mild symptoms of GERD, you may not need any tests.
If your symptoms are severe your doctor may perform a test called an upper endoscopy. During an upper endoscopy, your gastroenterologist uses a flexible tube with a camera at its tip to examine the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. Your doctor looks for any irritation, inflammation, or other complications to determine the severity of GERD.
If your doctor detects potential abnormalities in the lining of the esophagus, he or she may remove a small piece of esophageal tissue in a procedure known as a biopsy. This tissue is closely examined under a microscope to determine your risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus.
An upper endoscopy is also used to confirm the presence of a hiatal hernia.
Other tests include:
Esophageal manometry: A test to measure the pressure inside the lower part of the esophagus.
pH monitoring examination involves the doctor either inserting a small tube into the esophagus or clipping a tiny device to the esophagus that will stay there for 24 to 48 hours.
While you go about your normal activities, the device measures when and how much acid comes up into your esophagus. The procedure is sometimes helpful in detecting whether respiratory symptoms, including wheezing and coughing, are triggered by reflux.
Barium swallowing test: A barium swallow test is an X-ray test to examine the upper digestive tract. During this procedure, you are asked to drink a harmless dose of liquid barium, which temporarily coats the lining of the esophagus, the stomach, and the intestines and is illuminated on X-rays.
The barium allows a radiologist to examine these structures as the liquid goes down and gives more information about your oesophagus.
Treatment of Acid Reflux Disease in Kenya
Using the results of diagnostic tests, our highly skilled general surgeon Dr. Yusuf Palkhi located in Mombasa, Kenya will determine the best course of treatment, to reduce reflux, alleviate discomfort, healing irritation of the esophagus, and preventing progression to a more serious condition, such as Barrett’s esophagus.
Along with dietary and other lifestyle changes, specialists at KLASS may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription medication to alleviate the symptoms of gastric reflux but it does not stop the disease progression.
These medications may reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach during digestion, which in turn reduces the amount of acid pushed back into the esophagus.
Over the counter, antacids are designed to neutralize the stomach acid. They are used for infrequent or occasional heartburn or acid reflux. H2 receptor blockers are designed to treat your acid production by blocking histamine. Over time, these prescription drugs for acid reflux treatment are less effective and their doses need to be increased.
Reflux Disease Surgery in Kenya
Gastroesophageal reflux disease affects millions of people, causing them seemingly endless pain and detracting from their overall quality of life. While some of these GERD patients find some relief through lifestyle changes and medication, other people may only find a definitive solution through surgery, such as the state-of-the-art laparoscopic procedures we offer at KLASS.
The anti-reflux surgery performed by our specialists offers patients the opportunity to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms associated with GERD and lead happier, healthier lives.
Anti-reflux surgery is generally considered a last, but highly effective, resort for people with GERD who have tried, but not responded well to, lifestyle changes and medical therapies.
The types of surgery performed at KLASS include laparoscopic fundoplication, transoral incisionless fundoplication, and the LINX Reflux Management System.
The laparoscopic fundoplication procedure involves making several small incisions in the belly, near the navel, through which a tiny camera and the surgical tools will be inserted. The camera transmits real-time images to a screen so that the surgeon can monitor the procedure. If a hiatal hernia is present, it will be repaired. The surgeon tightens the opening of the diaphragm to prevent the stomach from bulging upward into the chest wall.
The surgeon then wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower end of the esophagus. This helps to keep the stomach juices and food from flowing back up into the esophagus and causing heartburn helping to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer.
Transoral incisionless fundoplication is another minimally invasive procedure for GERD offered at KLASS. Unlike the laparoscopic fundoplication that requires incisions in the abdomen, transoral incisionless fundoplication is performed through the mouth, without incisions.
During the procedure, a surgeon inserts a device called the EsophyX through the mouth, gently advancing it down the throat and through the esophagus to the area where it meets the stomach, known as the gastroesophageal junction.
With the guidance of a video camera located inside the EsophyX, the surgeon creates sutures and tissue folds around the lower esophageal sphincter muscle, ultimately tightening and repairing it.
The LINX Reflux Management System is one of the newest available devices for the treatment of GERD offered at KLASS. Our general surgeon IN Kenya considers it one of the safest and most effective surgical treatments for GERD.
The LINX system uses a small, ring-like, flexible band of magnetic beads enclosed in titanium that’s placed around the esophagus just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps to keep the lower esophageal sphincter closed, preventing the contents of the stomach from flowing back into the esophagus.
LINX system surgery is performed using laparoscopy, which requires smaller incisions than traditional surgery. A surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen, inserting a flexible tube with a tiny camera at the tip that guides him or her throughout the procedure. The surgeon then measures the esophagus and sizes the LINX system before attaching the device to the bottom of the esophagus.
Compared to traditional open surgery, laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery offers numerous benefits, such as a quicker, more comfortable recovery period.
Your Laparoscopy Procedure With Dr. Yusuf Palkhi
Expert, exceptional care
Dr. Yusuf Palkhi was one of the first surgeons in Mombasa to introduce minimally invasive surgical procedures in Mombasa town to help individuals who were in need of laparoscopic general surgical procedures.
He is committed to improving the lifestyles of individuals residing in Mombasa to help them take back control of their lives without the need to travel far for such procedures.
Together with his expert surgical team in Mombasa, Kenya they provide the highest level of holistic surgical care to individuals, ensuring that they meet their individual health needs.
He is keen on ensuring that majority of people have access to expert, world-class care and expertise that is both affordable and accommodating to their needs and life goals.
Dr. Yusuf Palkhi, a laparoscopic surgeon in Mombasa, Kenya specializes in helping individuals who ail from the appendix, gallbladder, reflux, hernia repairs, colon, pancreas, spleen, and emergency abdominal surgeries.
He is also very passionate about helping individuals regain control of their lives through bariatric weight loss procedures.
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