Patients who have been experiencing a burning sensation in the center of the chest, sour- or bitter-tasting fluids in the throat or mouth, difficult sitting up from a lying down position, or who find themselves avoiding bending over to prevent acid from backing up into their throat may have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. To diagnose this condition and provide appropriate treatment, East Cooper General Surgery provides pH testing in Mt. Pleasant, SC using the Bravo pH Monitoring System.
Traditional pH testing methods required the placement of a catheter into the esophagus, with the catheter attached to a monitoring device on the patient’s belt and then inserted into their nose and down into the esophagus. Not only was this method uncomfortable, but potentially embarrassing for the patient who had to go about their life with a catheter in their nose. The Bravo system is catheter free and allows the patient to maintain their regular activities and diet.
With the Bravo pH Monitoring System, a pH capsule that is approximately the size of a gelcap is attached to the esophagus. The patient wears a pager-sized receiver at their waist, and pH readings are transmitted to it and recorded. The patient will also be asked to write down any times that they experience acid reflux symptoms. Once the test is complete, a doctor will upload the test data and analyze it to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Several days after the test, the capsule will naturally fall off the wall of the esophagus and pass through the digestive tract.
East Cooper General Surgeons now provide 3D Esophageal Manometry Testing in Mt. Pleasant, SC, as part of the workup for patients suffering from heartburn and acid reflux symptoms that are associated with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This outpatient procedure measures the strength and muscle coordination of the esophagus during swallowing. Esophageal Manometry is essential for patients considering a procedure for treatment of their reflux. The test utilizes a thin, pressure-sensitive tube that is passed through the nose, down the back of the throat to the esophagus, and into the stomach. Once the tube is placed, the patient is asked to lie on their left side, and a sensor records each time they swallow water. The test lasts approximately 30 to 40 minutes, then the tube is then removed, and a physician interprets the data that was recorded.
This is an outpatient procedure that does not require sedation, though a topical anesthetic may be applied to the nose to make the procedure more comfortable. After the manometry test, the patient may resume normal diet and activities, and some temporary throat soreness may occur, which can be relieved with lozenges or a saltwater gargle.
TIF PROCEDURETransoral incisionless fundoplication, or TIF procedure, is an advanced endoscopic procedure that provides relief from heartburn and acid reflux symptoms that are associated with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). After the TIF procedure many patients are also able to stop their chronic reflux medications. East Cooper General Surgeons now provide the TIF procedure in Mt. Pleasant, SC as a way to treat patients suffering from GERD without surgery. This can result in a shorter treatment time, less pain, and a faster recovery than with traditional laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery.
During the TIF procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia and an endoscopic device is fed through the mouth and into the stomach. Using this device the physician are able to repair and recreate the lower esophageal valve, (the body’s natural barrier to acid reflux) with the aid of small fasteners without surgical incisions.
After the procedure, the patient will follow a diet that gradually transitions from liquids to solids as the restored valve heals, which generally takes four to six weeks. TIF procedure patients can return to work within a few days of the procedure as long as their job doesn’t require a lot of physical exertion. Heavy lifting or strenuous exercise should be avoided until approved by their physician.