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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – Henrico Doctors’ Hospital


(upbeat electronic music) – I’ve been in practice
now for over 15 years. I’d spent 20 years with the U.S. Navy, practicing as a surgeon, and I retired back in 2015, and then I joined this
practice here in Richmond in August of 2015. My primary focus when I came here was really on foregut surgery, which deals with reflux and heartburn. GERD is basically short for gastroesophageal reflux disease, and that’s basically a disease where the acid in your stomach tends to gravitate up into your esophagus, and that translates
into heartburn symptoms that patients will experience. It’s a disease that affects
probably 21, 22 million people in the United States,
so it’s very prevalent. Most folks are dealing
with this on a daily basis by taking medications, whether they’re self-medicating, going to their local pharmacy, or getting a prescription
from their physicians. So ultimately, the meds are there to help control this acid that they feel into their chest, most of the time, to relieve their symptoms. Reflux is acid coming up, and it usually translates into heartburn. Patients will say, I have reflux, or they’ll complain of burning. They can be synonymous, and
they’re interchangeable. Traditionally, medications
have been really in the forefront. They’re easily accessible now, because so many of them
have become generic and they’re over the counter, so a lot of patients have
really come to self-medicate. When they get symptoms, they go to their local pharmacy, purchase the medications, and take them. Others find that
over-the-counters don’t work, so then they seek out their physician, and then usually end up on
prescription medications that sometimes are a little bit stronger or more effective for them. I think for the patients
that have really bad reflux, it truly does affect their quality of life to the point where it can
be almost debilitating. Some patients may have an
occasional bout of reflux. I think most folks across the board at some point in time have experienced it. I kind of focus on that
patient that comes in saying, you know, if I don’t take my medications, I just get severe burning
in through my chest. You know, I can’t sleep, I can’t function. Those are really the patients
that we try to target. (upbeat electronic music) (Want more information? Visit www.HenricoDoctors.com/GERD)

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