Most of us don’t think about it until we eat that loaded sub or the latest mega-burger from the local fast food joint. For many, it’s only an annoyance, and downing a couple of antacids will cure the problem until the next over-indulgence.
However, for some people heartburn is a miserable, life-altering condition. Some people buy antacids by the truckload trying to get rid of their heartburn. Eating or drinking anything, including water, can give them a severe case and drain their energy for hours afterwards. It keeps them up at night and decreases their work productivity. The fear of an embarrassing public choking episode can force an almost reclusive shroud over an otherwise outgoing person. In recent years there have been dramatic advances in the understanding of heartburn as well as the development of new diagnostics and therapies. The Minnesota Reflux & Heartburn Center has been developed to make all of these advances available to heartburn sufferers.
Heartburn is the most common symptom of a disease called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Other symptoms include regurgitation, chronic cough, hoarseness, and chest pain. Its cause is the “backup” of stomach acid into the “swallowing tube” or esophagus. This acid should not be there and causes irritation of the fragile lining of the esophagus.
Over 30 percent of the population suffers to some degree with this ailment and most are treated quite effectively with either over-the-counter medications, or prescription drugs. However, once you have GERD, you have it for life and treatment choices must be delivered with this in mind. In addition, many years of heartburn has been clearly associated with an increased risk of developing cancer of the esophagus. This new knowledge as well as development of new diagnostics and treatments has provided the opportunity for all sufferers to obtain relief. The average patient will no longer have to navigate the confusing “medical maze” trying to decide who to call, which physician to see and waiting weeks for appointments. The Minnesota Reflux & Heartburn Center focuses on clinical excellence as well as easy access, information, convenience and support.
Recently the medicine, diagnostics and procedures available for GERD sufferers have exploded and will continue to do so. This phenomenon has created the potential for disjointed information and even conflict from provider to provider. The Minnesota Reflux & Heartburn Center provides its patients continuous, seamless medical care for this condition.
Most patients with GERD are effectively treated with medicines usually delivered through area primary care physicians. This care will, of course continue. The Minnesota Reflux & Heartburn Center is an extension to augment what is already available. Patients who have particularly severe symptoms, need specialized diagnostics or do not obtain desired relief on medicines will have access to additional avenues to relief through the Center.
Patient education and participation in treatment decisions is paramount at the Center, and the process is streamlined by eliminating long waits between appointments. The designated “expert,” Nurse Coordinator Lea Carlson is readily available to patients. All physicians involved in the treatment communicate together and supply unified care that produces unparalleled patient satisfaction.
The Center offers complete evaluation and diagnostic tools including endoscopy, ambulatory pH monitoring and esophageal manometry. Combined with the latest in medical technology, the Center also offers patients minimally invasive surgical procedures that resolve the reflux. These procedures, requiring only an overnight hospital stay, cures chronic heartburn with a success rate of approximately 90 percent. Area surgeons have received specialized training in this specific procedure.
“I greatly appreciate the expertise of the reflux specialist along with the friendly and highly professional care of all the surgical staff.”
“With the progression of my GERD symptoms, including frequent sleep disruption, I was just miserable. Now I’m feeling so much better. I’m so grateful for what the reflux center has done to treat my reflux disease so far.”
“Throughout the evaluation process, I felt very comfortable with and confident in my reflux specialist, who I found very easy to talk with about my health concerns.”
“When I came in for my endoscopy, I felt like I was treated like a VIP.”
“I truly never thought this day would come where I can feel like a normal person again. I would highly recommend this treatment to anyone suffering from reflux disease.”
“It was a great experience, if you are having some of the same asthma and cough problems I did, then I would really recommend the Minnesota Reflux & Heartburn Center in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The procedure has made a massive change in my life, the facility was great and the care I received was exemplary.”