Anyone can develop an acid reflux. It cuts across every age group and ethnicity –no one is safe from this disease.
But the good news is it can be treated by either dieting, lifestyle changes, medication or surgery. Of all the methods used to treat acid reflux, surgery has proven to be the most effective method.
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In order for the acid reflux surgery to be effective, it has to be performed by experienced hands and not just by anyone. Optimed Private Clinic’s Dr. Serkan Ayhan is one of the most trusted doctors who has helped hundreds and hundreds of patients suffering from this chronic condition. If you really need to be relieved from this disease, then you should definitely consider him.
That said, let’s take a deep look into what acid reflux is all about.
What is Acid-Reflux?
Also known as acid regurgitation or gastroesophageal (GERD), acid reflux is a condition in which food from your stomach acid comes back up from your stomach into the esophagus. This happens when the muscles where the esophagus meets the stomach do not close tightly enough. This condition features a burning pain, known as heartburn, in the lower chest area.
A stomach abnormality known as hiatal hernia is the popular cause of acid reflux. This kind of abnormality happens when the upper part of the stomach and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) move above the muscle that separates your stomach from your chest, the diaphragm. In normal circumstances, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach.
How is it performed?
Before we talk about how acid reflux is performed, it’s important to note that the treatment begins with behavioral and lifestyle changes. This is to say that the reduction of acid reflux symptoms can be achieved in most individuals with several modifications such as:
- weight loss,
- avoidance of carbonated beverages,
- abstinence from smoking,
- reducing alcohol and caffeine intake,
- avoiding “trigger” foods (spicy foods, citrus or acidic foods),
- maintaining a low fat diet,
- avoiding eating or drinking several hours before going to bed, and
- elevating the head of the bed at night.
But suppose the symptoms are severe, or if symptoms persist despite lifestyle modifications, then a surgery might be impossible to avoid. There are two types of surgical treatment used to relieve the acid reflux disease if daily use of medication or lifestyle changes has failed to be effective.
The most common procedure involves surgically placing a ring known as a LINX device around the outside of the lower end of the esophagus –the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This ring consists of magnetic titanium beads held together by titanium wires. The LINX device helps reflux by preventing stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus.
Fundoplication is yet another surgical procedure that can help prevent further acid reflux. It creates an artificial valve using the top of your stomach. Fundoplication involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the LES to strengthen it, prevent acid reflux, and repair a hiatal hernia. This surgery is performed through either an open incision in the abdomen or chest or with a lighted tube inserted through a tiny incision in the abdomen.
It’s important to note that both procedures are considered as a last option for treating acid reflux disease after medical treatment has proven to be ineffective.
After the surgery
Post surgery pain is generally mild, but in some instances, some patients may require prescription pain medication for a short period of time. Anti-reflux medication is usually not required after surgery. Surgeons temporarily modify a patient's diet after surgery beginning with liquids followed by gradual advance to solid foods.
Am I a good candidate?
Not everyone qualifies to be an ideal candidate for the acid reflux surgery. For instance, if you are allergic to certain metals, you shouldn’t get the LINX device.
You are an ideal candidate for the acid reflux surgery if you’re having any of these symptoms:
Heartburn is also known as acid indigestion. It can be described as a burning pain or discomfort that comes from your stomach to either your chest or the middle of your abdomen. In some instances, the pain you feel can also move into your throat. Although it is known as a heartburn, it has nothing to do with your heart.
Regurgitation, as indicated earlier, is also another common symptom of acid reflux. You can think of regurgitation as the sensation of acid backing up into your throat or mouth. When regurgitation happens, you are bound to feel a sour or bitter taste in your mouth, and sometimes you may even experience what is known as wet burps.
Dyspepsia is also another symptom or rather syndrome which is associated with the acid reflux disease. In its simplest form, dyspepsia is a term that describes discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen. It is not regarded as a disease but rather a group of symptoms that often include bloating, discomfort, nausea, and burping. In the majority of cases, the symptoms of dyspepsia are burping, nausea after having eaten something, stomach fullness or bloating and upper abdominal pain and discomfort.
Cost of acid reflux surgery in Turkey
When compared to hospitals in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany and the UK, the cost of acid reflux surgery is ridiculously low in Turkey. This doesn’t mean that the quality of treatment is compromised in the country or the surgeons are inexperienced –Turkey’s low prices is due to the country’s low-cost-of-living.
In the UK, the cost of LINX procedure is around £5,000-£5,500 at private hospitals, and it is £3,000 at the NHS. The same procedure ranges between $7,000 and $10,000. When having this surgery in Turkey, you’d most probably spend between £2,500 and £3,500 –and this includes the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia used during the surgery, the meds you will use after the surgery, etc.
How can I choose the right clinic?
Choosing the right clinic for the acid reflux is not as easy as it sounds. There are many things to consider before you settle for one. Nowadays there are many fly-by-night clinics and surgeons who can deceive you.
We recommend that you first do your own homework before you set foot into any clinic for the surgery. Best acid reflux clinics are JCI-certified, use advanced equipment, have internationally recognized surgeons and they are patient-oriented. Be wary of healthcare consultants who pressurize you into making you rush decisions. Do not be baited by low prices, do your own research first.
Flymedi has assisted thousands of medical tourists in making smart decisions before they even leave their home countries. And when it comes to the best acid reflux clinic, we always recommend the ISO accredited Optimed Private Clinic which is located in near Istanbul, Turkey.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in June 2020