Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a pain. We'll help you find the cause as well as a diet and treatment plan that eases your symptoms, including heartburn, so you can enjoy life again.

GERD is a pain. We'll help you find the cause as well as a diet and treatment plan that eases your symptoms, including heartburn, so you can enjoy life again.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into your esophagus (the tube that transports what you eat to your stomach) and causes bothersome symptoms and/or damage.

Signs You Should Get Help for GERD

You don't have to keep living with uncomfortable symptoms of acid reflux. We're here to help if you have these common signs of GERD:

  • Frequent heartburn that occurs more than three times a week
  • Dry, chronic cough
  • Feeling fluid at the back of your throat
  • Feeling like food is stuck in your chest
  • Nausea after a meal
  • Multiple cavities or erosion in your teeth
  • Sore throat
  • Throat clearing
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest pain

GERD Treatment at Rush

When it comes to treating your GERD, we consider your entire lifestyle so we can work with you to find the best approach. We also use pH testing to customize your treatment plan, which may include the following options:

Lifestyle changes: We understand that changing your habits is hard. That's why our caring doctors are here to support you if you need help losing weight, changing your diet or stopping smoking.

Medications: We can help you find relief from your heartburn symptoms with medications that suppress acid.

Endoscopic procedures: Our experts offer several nonsurgical options if medications and lifestyle changes don't help your GERD. These include the following:

  • Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF): This advanced endoscopic procedure is performed through your mouth so you don't need incisions. It involves using part of your stomach to make a barrier to reduce reflux and ease your symptoms.
  • Stretta procedure: This endoscopic procedure uses radiofrequency energy to reinforce the barrier in your esophagus that prevents acid reflux.

Anti-reflux surgery: Surgeons at Rush offer the following procedures to treat GERD:

  • Magnetic sphincter augmentation (also referred to as LINX): During this outpatient procedure, the surgeon places a small, removable ring of magnetic beads around the lower part of your esophagus to control your reflux.
  • Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication: During this procedure, the surgeon will wrap the top part of your stomach around the lower part of your esophagus to prevent acid from entering the esophagus.
  • Gastric bypass surgery: If you have GERD and a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35, this surgery can help you lose weight and reduce your heartburn symptoms.

GERD Providers at Rush

Learn more about GERD providers at Rush.

Meet our GERD providers
stethoscope Meet our GERD providers

Rush Excellence in GERD Care

  • Quick access, easy scheduling: We aim to see you as quickly as possible — and can often do so within one week of your request. You can meet with us in-person at Rush locations across Chicago and the suburbs or through an online virtual visit.
  • A dedicated heartburn team: Our experts work together to help you find lasting heartburn relief. This includes gastroenterologists, dietitians and surgeons.
  • Minimally invasive anti-reflux surgery: If you need anti-reflux surgery for serious GERD, several minimally invasive options at Rush can help you experience less pain and scarring, and recover more quickly than traditional surgery.
  • National experts who care: Our goal is to not only treat your heartburn. We want you to achieve the best health possible. This patient-centered approach is one reason why U.S. News & World Report ranks Rush University Medical Center among the nation's best for gastroenterology and GI surgery.
  • Second opinions when you need them: If you're thinking about having an endoscopic procedure or anti-reflux surgery for GERD, we can help you understand your options so you can make the best decision for your health.

What inspires me to come to work every day is fixing a problem for a patient that's significantly affecting their quality of life.

Benjamin Veenstra, MD, Surgeon

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