Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid and food in the stomach reflux (back up) into the esophagus.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

You may bleed too much or develop an infection after surgery. Surgery to treat GERD can also make you feel bloated after meals. GERD may increase your risk for ulcers and bleeding in your stomach. GERD may also increase your risk for cancer or other health conditions.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Soft food diet:

You may be allowed to eat soft foods. Some examples are applesauce, baby food, bananas, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, eggs, gelatin, pudding, and yogurt.

Medicines:

  • Antacids decrease the stomach acid that can irritate your esophagus and stomach.

  • Histamine type-2 receptor blockers, also called H2 blockers, block acid production in the stomach.

  • Proton pump inhibitors, also called PPIs, block acid production in the stomach.

  • Promotility agents help the lower esophageal sphincter and stomach contract (tighten) more.

Tests:

  • Esophageal pH monitoring is used to place a small probe inside your esophagus and stomach to check the amount of acid.

  • An endoscopy is a procedure used to look at the inside of your esophagus and stomach. An endoscope is a bendable tube with a light and camera on the end. Your healthcare provider may remove a small sample of tissue and send it to a lab for tests.

  • Upper GI x-rays are done to take pictures of your stomach and intestines (bowel). You may be given a chalky liquid to drink before the pictures are taken. This liquid helps your stomach and intestines show up better on the x-rays.

  • Esophageal manometry is a test that measures the pressure within your esophagus and stomach.

Treatment:

Surgery is done to wrap the upper part of the stomach around the esophageal sphincter to strengthen it.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Inpatient Care)

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