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Bariatric surgery is primarily a disease improvement and resolution procedure. In other words, weight loss is simply a secondary benefit. So, it is very important the decision to undergo bariatric surgery be predicated upon a patient’s unique medical circumstance, including the obesity related diseases from which they suffer. This is particularly important for those experiencing significant symptoms or advanced forms of certain diseases.
Modern surgery has benefited from the advent and refinement of the laparoscopic or minimally invasive approach. Minimally invasive procedures offer several benefits including less pain, less blood loss, smaller scars, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery. As a result, most of the bariatric and general surgery procedures we perform are minimally invasive and/or robotically assisted. There are times, however, when open surgery is more appropriate for a patient’s circumstance. These reasons can include:
Today, we sit down with Dr. Jeffrey Hannon to discuss some frequently asked questions about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, also known as chronic acid reflux and heartburn.
Q: Why Does GERD Occur?
Dr. Hannon: Typically, chronic acid reflux or GERD is caused by a weakened Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES, the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach and prevents stomach acid from flowing back.
There are several reasons why these muscles could be weak and anything that puts strain on the abdomen, such as obesity or pregnancy, can exacerbate acid reflux.
Some patients may have a hiatal or paraesophageal hernia that contributes to acid reflux.
Lastly, acid reflux may be caused by certain procedures. A Heller Myotomy for the treatment of achalasia, the gastric band and the gastric sleeve may all cause or worsen GERD in some patients.
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