Could your heartburn actually be GERD?

The Heartburn and Reflux Center of Richmond's board-certified gastroenterologists and surgeons specialize in treating patients with chronic Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, a condition that results in acid reflux and heartburn when stomach acid is not properly contained in the stomach and rises into the esophagus. The symptoms of GERD can be very painful and, if left untreated, harmful to the digestive system. The center, located at Henrico Doctors' Hospital, was the first to perform daVinci robotic gastrointestinal surgery in the United States, was the first to perform laparoscopic surgery for GERD in the mid-Atlantic region, and was the first to offer the LINX procedure for reflux management.

LINX surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure that brings permanent relief to patients with acid reflux. The procedure involves the laparoscopic implantation of the 'Linx' device that is made up of magnetized titanium beads connected by titanium wires, which are placed around the lower esophagus just above the stomach. The magnetic beads constrict to prevent acid from escaping out of the stomach while allowing the patient to eat and swallow normally.

Dr. Clifford Smith, Richmond Surgical at Henrico Doctors' Hospital, was the first in Central Virginia to perform the surgery. "For the first time, patients in Central Virginia now have access to relief from their reflux disease through this minimally-invasive procedure which is performed laparoscopically," said Smith. "While medications remain a popular choice for patients suffering with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), the symptoms and side-effects can be painful. The Linx device offers a new and innovative alternative to traditional surgery and has excellent results."

Dr. Smith, accompanied by Dr. Ben Bradenham Jr., Gastrointestinal Specialists, will offer a community seminar on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The seminar will cover topics such as "is your heartburn actually GERD?" and options for those patients suffering from GERD.