Y. H. Salem, MD, FACS
Acid Reflux and General Surgeon & Varicose Vein Specialist located in Huntington Beach, CA & Anaheim, CA
Acid reflux is unpleasant and often painful, but fortunately, this condition is highly treatable. Experienced general surgeon Dr. Y.H. Salem diagnoses and treats acid reflux to restore your quality of life. Call his office today, with locations in Foothill Ranch, Huntington Beach, and Anaheim, California, to learn more or book an appointment online.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux is the backflow of stomach acid into your esophagus, the tube that passes from your throat down to your stomach. Usually, your esophageal sphincter opens to allow food from the esophagus into your stomach and closes to prevent backflow.
When your esophageal sphincter fails to prevent backflow, acid reflux occurs. Symptoms may include:
- A burning sensation in your throat or chest (heartburn)
- Tooth erosion over time
- Nausea or vomiting
- Bad breath
- Pain or difficulty when swallowing
- A bitter or sour taste in the mouth
If these symptoms persist, Dr. Salem and his team can provide relief.
What’s the difference between acid reflux and GERD?
Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux, is related to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), but the two aren’t necessarily the same thing. Acid reflux may come and go every so often, depending on factors like body-weight fluctuations, foods you’re eating, and certain medications.
GERD, however, is chronic (long-term) acid reflux that doesn’t go away and affects you at least twice a week. Because GERD is long term, it can lead to health complications — such as respiratory problems, a narrow esophagus, and a higher risk for esophageal cancer.
What causes acid reflux?
Acid reflux happens due to a variety of factors and may come and go with lifestyle changes. Some common causes include:
- Being overweight
- Eating greasy or fried foods
- Drinking coffee or alcohol
- Taking certain medications
- Hiatal hernias
If these symptoms come and go every so often, acid reflux may be the cause.
What are the treatments for acid reflux?
Dr. Salem determines the cause of acid reflux to plan an appropriate treatment that best meets your needs. He’ll go over your medical history, including symptoms you’re having, and complete a physical examination. He may complete imaging tests, other tests, or an endoscopy.
Depending on the cause of acid reflux, treatment may include:
- Lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss or dietary changes
- Over-the-counter or prescription medications
- Surgery (hiatal hernia repair, for example)
- Nonsurgical transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF)
TIF is a noninvasive procedure (incision is not a requirement) that tightens the area between your stomach and esophagus using an endoscope.
It’s important to see a doctor right away if you have acid reflux, as some of its causes can be severe and require surgical repair. Call Dr. Salem’s office to book your appointment or schedule one online today.