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Esophagus

You don’t have to live with acid reflux

Burning in your chest or throat, a dry cough, asthma symptoms or trouble swallowing may signal a problem with stomach acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly to keep stomach acid contained.
 
Your Novant Health physician may suggest several lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce your reflux. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. Serious reflux disease is sometimes accompanied by a hiatal hernia, where your stomach protrudes through the diaphragm.

Novant Health general surgeons can perform advanced procedures, such as laparoscopic sissen fundoplication, to repair the hiatal hernia and reduce the reflux.


Achalasia

This rare disorder occurs when the muscular ring between your esophagus and stomach does not relax while swallowing food. You may experience heartburn, chest pain, or difficulty swallowing food or drink.

If left untreated, achalasia may cause pneumonia (particularly in the elderly), weight loss or malnutrition. Novant Health surgeons use highly successful, minimally invasive procedures such as Heller myotomy to treat this disorder. Following laparoscopic surgery, most patients can leave the hospital in one to two days.

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