Heartburn & Acid Reflux Specialists in Phoenix
Providing Expert Treatment of Heartburn throughout the Phoenix area
Most individuals occasionally experience a bout of acid reflux and the accompanying heartburn and indigestion. But what do you do when that burning pain occurs more frequently, and the symptoms don’t respond to changes in lifestyle or medications? Get help with Dignity Health Medical Group at our Phoenix, Arizona location. The board-certified general surgeons at Dignity Health Medical Group specialize in conservative treatments, including minimally invasive procedures for acid reflux. If you’re located in the Phoenix area and looking for an end to your battle with heartburn contact our office in Chandler today.
What is Heartburn or Acid Reflux?
Occasional heartburn is common in adults and should not cause alarm. Heartburn is caused by an irritation of the esophagus by stomach acid. Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Seeking medical care for heartburn should be considered when heartburn is more frequent and interferes with a person’s daily life. The first time you feel a burning sensation directly over your heart, it can be scary. Even though heartburn is rarely dangerous, it can cause discomfort, and develop into acid reflux. General surgeons Shawn Stevenson, DO, Van Leavitt, DO, and Gregory Robertson, MD are experienced in minimally invasive surgery for acid reflux. Dr. Stevenson is also a member of the American College of Surgeons and Phoenix Surgical Society.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn?
Description for this block. Use this space for describinA common symptom of heartburn is acid in the stomach that refluxes into the esophagus and causes pain. Symptoms of heartburn tend to be more prevalent after large meals and this pain can worsen when lying down or bending over. Many people in Phoenix can mistake the burning sensation behind the sternum or breastbone as a symptom of a heart attack.g your block. Any text will do.
When to seek medical care:
- Heartburn occurring on a weekly basis.
- Symptoms continue while taking over-the-counter medications.
- Chest pain is experienced while laying down.
- Experiencing acid fluid in the back of the throat that causes a burning sensation.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Persistent nausea and vomiting.
- Weight loss due to poor appetite or difficulty swallowing.
What are the Common Causes of Heartburn?
Acid reflux typically develops because of a issue with the way the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is working. The LES is a band of muscle that’s normally closed to prevent consumed items from coming up out of your stomach. This muscle automatically opens when you swallow to let food and drinks into your stomach. If the LES is damaged or weak it can’t form a tight seal, so stomach acid can wash back up into your esophagus, and sometimes into the back of your throat.
Common foods we eat and drink can stimulate increased stomach acid resulting in heartburn. Examples of foods and drinks that can cause heartburn are:
- Carbonated Drinks
- Acidic Juices (citrus drinks, pineapple juice, and apple juice)
- Acidic Foods (tomatoes, chocolate, grains, and sugar)
The best way to reduce acid reflux symptoms is to change these lifestyle habits and avoid known triggers, but some patients might also require surgery.
Treatment of Heartburn & Acid Reflux in Phoenix, AZ
A typical initial evaluation for acid reflux disease or GERD can include manometry testing, an endoscopy, 24-hour pH testing or an esophagram/upper GI X-ray. Medications used to treat acid reflux generally involve the use of H2 blockers (H2-receptor antagonists). This will help reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach and/or a Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) to inhibit production of stomach acid.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of heartburn, the team at Dignity Health Medical Group may first suggest antacids for the treatment of the occasional heartburn. Our Heartburn experts in Phoenix may also suggest lifestyle changes that may help ease your heartburn symptoms, such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding foods that trigger your heartburn
- Avoid smoking
- Avoiding lying down after your meal
However, in more serious cases, stronger medications and/or surgery may be needed. In more persistent and sever acid reflux, Phoenix patients may need to undergo surgery for relief of symptoms and to prevent long-term damage to various parts of the body. Indications for surgery may include some of the following:
- Continuing to experience symptoms of acid reflux while taking medicines
- Not willing to take medicine every day
- Suffering disease complications
- Taking medications that cause unpleasant side effects
Schedule a Heartburn Consultation with Dignity Health Medical Group
If you are suffering from heartburn in the Phoenix area, contact one of our physicians today at Dignity Health Medical Group today for any additional questions you have about treatment. You can call our office in Chandler at (602) 582-5233. Additionally, you can schedule your appointment online and we will confirm your appointment shortly afterward.