Jefferson Health

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Heartburn

While heartburn and acid reflux can often be remedied by making lifestyle changes and taking over-the-counter medications, recurrent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) requires more intensive management to prevent complications to the esophagus, such as scarring, ulcers and Barrett's esophagus.

Jefferson gastroenterologists (physicians who specialize in the digestive system and its disorders) have the necessary expertise to accurately diagnose and effectively treat even the most complex cases of GERD. Your medical team will work with you to devise a personalized treatment plan to manage your GERD through a multifaceted approach that may include medication therapy, dietary changes, endoscopic treatment or surgery.

Our physicians are among the most experienced in the Philadelphia region in performing the latest endoscopic procedures for the treatment of GERD. Jefferson was the first hospital in Philadelphia to offer an advanced surgical treatment called endoluminal fundoplication (ELF) for long-term elimination of GERD that requires no incisions. Prior to this type of surgery, patients would either have to take daily medication to suppress stomach acid or undergo open surgery of the stomach and esophagus to reduce symptoms.ELF can potentially eliminate the need to take medication to control GERD.

Jefferson's Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Unit is one of the busiest academic endoscopy units on the East Coast. At our state-of-the-art endoscopy suite, Jefferson physicians perform more than 13,000 endoscopic procedures each year.