Acid Reflux

Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS -  - Bariatric & General Surgery

West Houston Surgical Associates

Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS

Bariatric & General Surgery located in Houston, TX

Acid reflux is a common digestive problem that bothers millions of people each year. If you’re experiencing regular attacks of indigestion and heartburn, contact Christopher Reilly, MD, FACS, of West Houston Surgical Associates in Houston. Dr. Reilly is an experienced surgeon who can advise you on the best way to relieve your acid reflux problem, so call the clinic today or book an appointment online.

Acid Reflux Q & A

What is acid reflux?

The medical term for acid reflux is GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), but you may also hear it referred to as acid indigestion or heartburn. Acid reflux is a result of the valve at the top of the stomach, known as the lower esophageal sphincter, not working correctly. Instead of keeping stomach acid contained, the sphincter lets some out, leading to irritation and inflammation in the esophagus and throat.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

The burning feeling that is commonly known as heartburn comes from acid rising up your from your stomach and irritating the soft tissues in your esophagus. An attack of acid reflux frequently causes:

  • Belching or burping
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Mouth flooding with saliva
  • Hoarse voice
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Inflamed gums
  • Feeling nauseated  
  • Chest pains (always consult a doctor if you have chest pain)

If the acid rises into your mouth, you’ll notice its bitter taste, and if it’s not treated, the acid can start to erode your teeth.

What causes acid reflux?

A number of lifestyle factors can increase the risk of acid reflux, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Certain medications
  • Chronic constipation
  • Some foods, particularly rich or spicy ones; caffeine, and peppermint

Acid reflux is also a common side effect of pregnancy, especially as the baby starts to grow bigger and press on the mother’s internal organs.

How can surgery help with acid reflux?

Surgery can help with acid reflux in several ways. Before considering surgery, Dr. Reilly gives you a thorough examination and talks to you about your symptoms and what you hope to achieve from the treatment. Medical weight loss procedures can contribute significantly to healthy weight loss, alleviating strain on the body and enabling recovery from GERD.

Dr. Reilly also assesses patients experiencing acid reflux for hiatal hernias, which occur when the muscles of the diaphragm fail to close properly. Hiatal hernias can lead to acid reflux, so it’s essential to check for the possibility before trying other treatment methods.

If acid reflux is affecting your life, call Dr. Reilly today, or make an appointment to see him using the online booking facility.