If you have ever experienced occasional heartburn associated with gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), you are probably familiar with the popular over-the counter antacids that neutralize stomach acid and relieve heartburn symptoms. However, these medications will typically not work if your heartburn is more frequent and severe. Other medications, which work to prevent reflux and block acid production, are available for more severe cases of heartburn.
In addition, lifestyle and dietary modifications are recommended and may relieve symptoms in some patients. A surgical procedure called fundoplication to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter muscles, or LES muscles, may be an alternative to drug therapy.
Recently, less invasive endoscopy techniques have been developed to tighten the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. However, the safety and effectiveness of these new alternatives to surgery are still being determined.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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