Meridian Surgery Center GERD Specialists in Puyallup, WA Visit the website for Meridian Surgery Center in Puyallup, WA
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Whats up with my gerd?

Meridian Surgery Center
provides our patients the highest quality surgical solutions with a focus on convenience, cost and compassion.

What patients say> Before the surgery, my sleep was often interrupted by heartburn and stomach acid in the throat, and I did not dare to eat food two to three hours before going to bed. Also, I had to sleep with my head and upper body elevated. Frequent intake of Tums, Rolaids and Mylanta day and night was the norm. When my breathing began locking up, I made an appointment with Dr. Wright, who then recommended laparoscopic surgery. How thankful I am that I elected for this surgery! I now sleep without elevating my head; even a pillow is not necessary. No more anti-acid tablets, in fact, I have not had heartburn once since this surgery two years ago. But best of all my improvements is how much more calm and happy I became without all those former miseries! I THANK YOU DR. WRIGHT, for recommending
this surgery and extending my life here on Earth! <

GERD Diagram

In people with GERD, the lower
esophageal sphincter (LES) is weak, allowing acid and bile to reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.

GERD Surgical Option Called LINX

Pictured above is a new FDA-approved device called the LINX®, a small, flexible band of magnets designed to keep the weak LES closed to prevent reflux, and expand to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach. Contact Meridian Surgery Center to find out if this surgical treatment option for GERD is right for you.






to learn more about your

What is GERD?

Sometimes thought of as heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a chronic, often progressive disease that interferes with how you digest food and often interrupts a good night's sleep.

Common symptoms include heartburn, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, and chest pains. It's also associated with tooth decay, gingivitis, bad breath, earaches, chronic cough, worsening asthma, recurrent pneumonia, abdominal bleeding, belching, chronic sore throat, hoarseness, throat clearing, laryngitis, lump in the throat, or post nasal drip.

Why Does It Matter?

GERD can affect your daily activities, your sleep, and your enjoyment of life. And untreated GERD can lead to more serious health conditions. It occurs when stomach acid or bile washes back into the esophagus. Over time this acid erodes the lining of the esophagus, resulting in discomfort. GERD's complications can include esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, and esophageal cancer.

What Do I Need To Do About It?

For mild and infrequent symptoms, nonprescription therapy is often enough:

  • Avoid foods that induce reflux (coffee, fat, etc.)
  • Avoid eating close to bedtime and lying down after meals
  • Eliminate smoking
  • Reduce/eliminate alcohol
  • Elevate your head during sleep
  • Lose weight
  • Take over-the-counter antacids as needed (TUMS, Gacascon)

For patients with severe or frequent symptoms of esophagitis:

  • Prescription therapy is almost always necessary. It is important to see your doctor so that he/she can diagnose and treat you and this problem appropriately. Initially, drugs such as Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet or Axid may be used to treat the symptoms of GERD. In addition to these drugs, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eliminating smoking and alcohol and avoiding eating too close to bed time are also important to implement.
  • If over-the-counter remedies don't relieve your symptoms, then a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) such as Prilosec, Protonix, Nexium, Aciphex, or Prevacid will most likely be used.
  • Anyone taking over-the-counter antacid medication for more than two months should see his or her doctor.
Where Can I Get Help?

At Meridian Surgery Center, we provide an array of surgical interventions for treatment of GERD—safely and efficiently. Getting your surgery here means more convenience, privacy and individual attention at a lower cost than in a hospital setting. Ask your physician if you are a candidate for outpatient surgery. Get more information by filling out our FREE 'What's Up With My GERD?' Assessment!

Why Should I Pursue Surgery Now?

Surgery to improve or prevent GERD has shown excellent results. Patients with GERD that is not well controlled with medicine alone, complicated GERD (severe esophagitis, Barrett's or strictures), the presence of a hiatal hernia and patients who are young and face life-long medication use are considered good candidates for anti-reflux surgery. The surgery to fix GERD and reflux can be performed with varied methods: Hill Repair, Nissen Fundoplication or Toupet repair. Meridian Surgery Center has been chosen to be a part of a select number of facilities to offer an FDA-approved device called LINX®, which is a revolutionary solution for  GERD (see images right).



What Causes GERD?

It's caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that allows acid and bile to reflux, or flow back, from the stomach into the esophagus.

The LES is a muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach that functions as the body's natural barrier to reflux. The LES acts as like a valve, allowing food and liquid to pass through to the stomach. Normally, the LES resists opening to gastric pressures to prevent reflux. In people with GERD, the LES is weak and allows acid and bile to reflux from the stomach into the esophagus, often causing injury to the lining of the esophagus and symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, sore throat and cough.

What should I know about PPIs?

Proton pump inhibitors are a group of drugs that effectively block acid production in the stomach and relieve the symptoms of GERD. They are safe and generally well tolerated. Unfortunately, they are expensive and usually will require an increase in dosage the longer they are taken. And they are now shown to cause osteoporosis because of impaired calcium absorption. Individuals who, after maximizing medical (non-surgical) treatment for GERD, still experience the following problems should consider surgical treatment for reflux disease:

  • Incomplete relief of symptoms
  • Development of a stricture or esophageal narrowing
  • Barrett's Esophagus
  • Relapse of symptoms after discontinuing medical treatment (after at least eight weeks of medication)
  • Intolerable side effects from GERD medication

Do I have to take the medicines for life?

That depends on a number of variables, such as the frequency and severity of your reflux (GERD) symptoms, whether you have any complicating conditions (esophagitis, Barrett's), and whether you desire to take daily medications for the remainder of your life. For most patients with frequent or severe symptoms, discontinuing the use of antacid medications will cause the reflux symptoms and GERD to return.

What if my symptoms persist?

If symptoms persist while you are on medication, you need to see your doctor. He or she may recommend additional testing to confirm the diagnosis and exclude complications of GERD (such as stricture or Barrett's), or a more serious problem.





Meridian Surgery Center Cascade Hernia & Heartburn Institute

Meridian Surgery Center and Cascade Hernia & Heartburn Institute are conveniently located in the heart of Pierce County, just south of Seattle and east of Tacoma, in the city of Puyallup, WA.


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