The Heartburn & Reflux Center at Door County Medical Center
Door County Medical Center is an integrated health care system providing residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with the very best in medical technology and procedures. Many of the surgical services offered by larger hospitals are accomplished by our top surgeons, right here in Door County. Our dedication to making healthcare accessible to our rural community has made us a regional leader in many respects, but particularly with the development of our Heartburn & Reflux Center.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a common disease impacting 40% of Americans that can lead to serious health consequences if it is not detected early. Heartburn (acid reflux) occurs when stomach contents backup, or reflux, into the esophagus. Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation that may radiate to the neck, throat, or along your jawline. If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you may have GERD.
“Things like a chronic sore throat, persistent cough or hoarse voice are things that can occur from irritation of the gastric refluxate coming into the upper airway. One important alarm symptom is dysphasia which is trouble swallowing or food getting stuck, especially if it's down in the lower chest. That has to be evaluated fairly quickly,” says Dr. Shaun J. Melarvie, M.D., F.A.C.S., “A dentist will sometimes find erosions of the enamel when they're looking at teeth and will refer their patient back to the primary care provider for evaluation of reflux disease. I see that fairly commonly in my practice here at Door County Medical Center.”
Additional GERD Symptoms:
Patients suffering from acid reflux can now benefit from state of the art diagnosis using the Bravo™ reflux testing system, which is an advanced technology that can help identify the cause of your symptoms. Bravo™ monitors acid content in your esophagus while you continue your regular daily activities and diet. The testing process is comfortable, and the results can help your doctor better understand your symptoms and make confident decisions about your treatment plan.
If your chronic acid reflux cannot be managed by medication or lifestyle changes, Door County Medical Center offers advanced treatment of heartburn with incisionless same-day surgery.
“One of the newer technologies is called transoral incisionless fundoplication, also known as TIF. It's a procedure that allows us to do a recreation of the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to help people that are suffering from acid reflux and can't control their symptoms adequately with medications. What is so nice about the procedure is we can do this operation in less than an hour and with no incisions whatsoever. Many patients come off of their acid reflux medications altogether and stay off of them long term,” explains Kurtis D. Scheer, M.D., F.A.C.S.
“Thus far there have been good patient satisfaction scores with the results obtained for TIF procedures. It is always important to consult with your doctor to find out which procedure is appropriate for you,” says Dr. Melarvie.
Call to make an appointment for a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons today. (920) 746-1060