If you suffer from acid reflux, you know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. It occurs when your stomach acid flows backward into your esophagus, causing heartburn, inflammation, throat infections, and ulcers. Mild reflux symptoms can be taken care of with over-the-counter medication. Chronic acid reflux, however, requires more specialized treatment.
Sometimes, lifestyle changes can help prevent, manage, or relieve your symptoms. Switching to a healthier diet, getting more exercise, and taking care of your body helps some people manage their condition. You can also seek information and wellness help from centers like Inspire Health, which offer exercise classes, wellness and nutrition services, and physical therapy.
Unfortunately, for some, their condition needs more than a change in lifestyle. Reflux surgery is an option for these people, usually as a last resort, but the benefits are certainly worth considering in the following circumstances.
If your medications are long-term
For those with chronic or severe acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your doctor will most likely prescribe you long-term medications. These medications might be life-long, which means you need to commit to them every day.
A lifetime of popping pills can be hard if not impossible. You can avoid a lifetime of pills by having reflux surgery, which could be easier on your wallet if you do not have insurance that covers the medication. Consider the cost of the surgery versus the long-term or lifelong cost of the medication, and speak to your doctor about any questions or concerns.
To prevent further conditions
Over time, your mild symptoms can worsen if proper care is not taken, and you can end up with serious or chronic acid reflux. Left untreated, GERD can worsen and develop into another condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which can increase your risk of cancer. By opting for reflux surgery early on, you can avoid any complications and worsening symptoms.
If you have serious complications
GERD is not something to take lightly. Your stomach acid can cause inflammation in your esophagus, which may then lead to ulcers or bleeding. Damaged tissue and scarring could then occur, which could constrict your esophagus, making it difficult and painful to swallow.
Thankfully there are several surgical options you can consider to alleviate severe acid reflux before it becomes an even bigger and more severe health issue.
Keep in mind
Recovery times can differ between patients depending on the type of surgery. Typically, you will need up to six weeks of rest before you can go back to work, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding on surgery. If you do opt for the surgery, make sure to factor this recovery time into your life to ensure you do not rush back to work and not give your body enough time to recuperate.
Furthermore, some surgery options can be quite expensive depending on your insurance coverage and the type of procedure. Therefore, speak with your doctor and discuss the costs and any other details you might need to know beforehand. You want to ensure you are well informed and making an educated decision because your health matters most.