Esophagus disorders

Heartburn/acid reflux, Barrett's esophagus, GERD

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Duke specialists diagnose and treat chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Barrett's esophagus. We use sophisticated techniques to evaluate the muscle health of your esophagus, and monitor food flow from your mouth to stomach. When lifestyle and medications do not work, our surgeons are expertly equipped in a variety of minimally invasive procedures that can relieve your discomfort, and help you return to your daily activities.

Comprehensive care for acid reflux and Barrett’s esophagus

If you suffer from heartburn, a burning sensation in your chest after eating or have trouble swallowing, you could be experiencing acid reflux. A prompt diagnosis can lead to fast relief from the uncomfortable symptoms that occur when acid seeps into your esophagus. We use the latest diagnostic techniques to identify the cause of your acid reflux, and start you on therapy to relieve your discomfort. We can also rule out or provide effective, personalized treatment for chronic and serious conditions such as esophagitis, an inflammation of the lining of your esophagus, and Barrett's esophagus, a change in in the lining of your esophagus, which can lead to esophageal cancer.

Choose Duke for your esophagus disorders because we offer:

  • Diagnostic expertise.  We combine new techniques with years of experience to make prompt diagnoses that reduce your discomfort.  For example, by placing tiny electronic monitors within the stomach, we assess esophageal function in real time. 
  • Dedicated laboratory.  Our doctors work in a clinic created to test esophageal muscle functions, known as motility, and measure acid levels in your digestive track. We assess the esophagus and its interaction with the stomach.
  • A commitment to your comfort.  We make sure you are comfortable and relaxed during testing that may require swallowing tubes or wires to monitor your digestive functions.
  • Surgical excellence.  If surgery is needed, you will be cared for by our general surgeons or thoracic specialists who regularly perform complex surgeries involving the esophagus and stomach.
  • Collaborative care.  Our doctors work closely with specialists in tissue and organ imaging and lab experts who undergo advanced training in gastroenterology, and have dedicated their careers to identifying esophagus disorders.
  • Patient education. The pain and discomfort common to reflux or swallowing disorders often creates anxiety.  We discuss your symptoms, the likely causes, and your test results so you are fully aware and involved in all treatment decisions.



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