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Acid Reflux

Don’t Treat the Symptom, Treat the Source

If you experience chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and your current treatment isn’t managing your symptoms, you might be eligible for a minimally invasive procedure. A number of options, both surgical and nonsurgical are available to treat GERD.

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a chronic digestive condition that occurs when stomach acid travels upward out of the stomach. It moves into the esophagus and sometimes into the throat and mouth, creating pain and often causing damage to the lining of the esophagus. GERD is characterized by frequent episodes of acid reflux and heartburn. It often has a life-long negative impact on an individual’s quality of life.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

GERD or acid reflux is caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which separates the esophagus from the stomach. When you swallow, the LES opens to allow liquids and food into the stomach, acting as a one-way valve. While the LES is supposed to stay closed to prevent acid from traveling into the esophagus, some people have weak or relaxed sphincters that allow stomach acid to move upward.

What Are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?

Symptoms vary from person to person but may include:


Shortness of breath

Chest pain

Sore throat

Difficulty swallowing (dysphasia)

Sour taste in the throat or mouth

Change in voice or hoarseness





Tooth decay or dental erosion

Why Treating Acid Reflux Is Important

In addition to producing a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, GERD can also lead to potentially serious complications. Without prompt treatment, repeat exposure to stomach acid can damage your esophagus and oral health. Some conditions that stem from repeated acid exposure are:


How to Find Relief and Avoid Acid Reflux

Minimally Invasive Treatments for Acid Reflux

Lifestyle changes and medications are almost always the first courses of action in treating acid reflux. However, if these treatments don’t produce the desired effect, your doctor might suggest an alternative treatment method. If your GERD symptoms are severe and cannot be eased with medicine or lifestyle changes, your doctor may suggest surgery. Across our health system we offer the LINX procedure as a minimally invasive treatment for GERD, including at Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group’s Acid Reflux Center in Baton Rouge and St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe.

LINX® Reflux Management System

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Surgery
LINX Procedure - Minimally Invasive Treatment for GERD

The LINX Reflux Management System augments the weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES), reinforcing the body’s natural barrier to reflux. The LINX System is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The beads are connected by titanium wires. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep the LES closed to prevent reflux. Swallowing temporarily breaks the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach. Magnetic attraction between the beads closes the LES after swallowing, reinforcing the barrier to reflux.

The procedure is minimally invasive, takes about one hour, and starts working immediately. LINX is designed to be a lifelong implant.

At Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group’s Acid Reflux Center, we also offer Nissen Fundoplication and Stretta procedures.

Nissen Fundoplication

During this laparoscopic procedure, a robotic-assisted surgeon will take the top part of your stomach (the fundus), wrap it around the LES, and surgically attach it there with stitches. This strengthens the LES and helps keep acid in the stomach.


During this non-surgical procedure, a doctor uses a long, thin device to expose the LES and gastric cardia to low-power, low-temperature radiofrequency energy. This energy strengthens the sphincter, resulting in less acid escaping.

Stretta is FDA approved for GERD treatment, and more than 15 years of data and clinical trials support the efficacy and long-term effectiveness of the procedure. The minimally invasive non-surgical procedure takes less than an hour, is performed in the outpatient setting, is effective after gastric bypass surgery and eliminates or significantly reduces the need for medications.

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