Your physician will work with you to identify the right treatment options for your symptoms. Treatments may include lifestyle changes, medication or surgery.
Your physician may recommend modifications to your lifestyle that may help you control acid reflux. These recommendations may include changes to your diet or your meal routine, as well as other behavior modifications that may decrease your symptoms.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms and improve your daily life. These could include:
- Antacids, over-the-counter stomach acid neutralizers to provide heartburn relief
- H2 blockers to reduce the production of stomach acid which, in turn, can relieve symptoms
- Hydrogen ion or proton pump inhibitors are stronger prescription medications to keep the stomach from making acid. They are usually prescribed for short-term use.
- Promotility agents can improve the movement of food through the stomach and prevent backflow of stomach acids into the esophagus
Lifestyle changes and medications may not relieve symptoms for patients whose heartburn is caused by mechanical problems with their esophagus. For these patients, a surgical procedure called "fundoplication" may provide relief.
This procedure recreates the LES by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lowest portion of the esophagus. Hiatal hernias are repaired at the same time. This procedure can be done by traditional open surgery or through less invasive laparoscopic surgery which is conducted with small surgical instruments through tiny incisions in the abdomen.