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Rotary hears about heartburn and latest surgical techniques

FALLBROOK – General surgeon Dr. David Johnson recently spoke to members of Fallbrook Village Rotary about a new procedure to help treat acid reflux, more commonly know as heartburn.

Johnson said some of the symptoms of acid reflux regurgitation are: hoarseness or sore throat, frequent swallowing, asthma or asthma like symptoms, pain or discomfort in the chest, yellow fluid or stains on the pillow, persistent cough, burning in the mouth or throat, intolerance of certain food, bloating, and dental erosion or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation.

A few of the contributing factors to acid reflux, Johnson said, include, being overweight, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, drinking carbonized drinks, eating fatty foods, heavy consumption of food, and smoking. The aforementioned factors contribute to an anatomical change to the valve of the sphincter at the top of the stomach.

Ten to 15 percent of the adult population suffers from acid reflux, and the incidence increases after the person reaches 40 years of age.

Johnson spoke about a current treatment being used called a Proton Pump Inhibitor - like Protoniz, Nexium, or Prilosec - and a surgical procedure to fix the valve at the top of the stomach that has been damaged through an incision-less procedure.

Johnson said the procedure is 85 percent successful and allows the patient to have a better quality of life.


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