SurgOne’s team of fellowship-trained Foregut surgeons are known regionally for their expertise in treating conditions of the esophagus and stomach. They diagnose and treat complicated conditions and offer the newest, minimally invasive treatments for them.
Our surgeons completed their training in general surgery and then went on to highly focused and specialized fellowship training in minimally invasive esophageal and stomach surgery. The team at SurgOne is also trained in advanced interventional endoscopy techniques that allow them to diagnose, medically manage or surgically repair conditions of the esophagus and stomach. This allows patients to go to just one office for all their diagnostic and therapeutic care. Our team sees a high volume of these conditions, which is important because data shows that when these specialized surgeries are done by an expert with a lot of experience, the outcomes are significantly better. Our surgeons track their outcomes closely and publish them nationally. They are also committed to training the next generation of foregut surgeons through an accredited fellowship program.
Common Conditions Treated by Esophageal & Gastric Specialists
Reflux and GERD (Heartburn)
Our team provides diagnostic endoscopies and offers minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic procedures to address the effects of reflux, silent reflux, and GERD, which can include bothersome symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, dysphagia – food getting stuck when you swallow, cough, hoarseness, throat clearing and sore throat.
We offer endoscopic pH testing for reflux and additional tests to evaluate the strength of the esophagus. We also offer several advanced options to treat reflux, and your surgeon will discuss which of these options are best for your individual condition:
- LINX – The implantation of a small device to restore the anti-reflux valve in the lower esophagus, which keeps food and acid in the stomach.
- Fundoplication – a minimally invasive surgery to restore the anti-reflux valve between the stomach and esophagus using your own stomach tissue.
- TIF – An endoscopic procedure where a new anti-reflux valve is created to establish a barrier to reflux
- Gastric diversion or bypass surgery – A procedure in which your surgeon may create a small stomach pouch connected directly to your small intestine, separating the esophagus from the flow of acid.
SurgOne’s doctors perform more than 300 hiatal hernia surgeries per year and our recurrence rate is up to 4 times lower than those who are not specialized in this procedure. A hiatal hernia occurs when a part of the stomach pushes through the small opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus passes before connecting to your stomach. Common in men and women aged 50 or older with risk factors that include: obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, heavy lifting, chronic constipation, cough, or a diet heavy in acidic foods.
Our surgeons offer robotic and laparoscopic repairs to move the stomach back down into the abdomen and tighten the area of the diaphragm around the esophagus. Because hiatal hernias contribute to reflux, your surgeon will also usually recommend a GERD treatment to strengthen and repair the area to eliminate acid reflux.
Barrett’s Esophagus is often diagnosed, when untreated reflux leads to the development of abnormal, pre-cancerous cells in the esophagus. Treating the underlying reflux is critical and often patient’s need surveillance endoscopies. If the condition progresses to dysplasia, we can use endoscopic ablation, or minimally invasive surgical techniques to remove masses or lesions from the esophagus.
Achalasia is a rare swallowing condition where food and liquid do not travel normally through the esophagus and into the stomach. The muscles that move food through the esophagus often don’t work well and cause a feeling of food sticking, regurgitation, pain, or coughing fits. Several procedures are available to treat this condition:
- Endoscopic dilation – a procedure to stretch the esophagus so that food can pass through more easily and optimize the patient’s ability to swallow.
- POEM – An endoscopic procedure that can release the muscles in the esophagus
- Heller Myotomy – Laparoscopic or robotic, minimally invasive surgery that is used to release or loosen the muscle between the stomach and esophagus to allow for easier passage of food
This is the formation of a small pouch or bulge that protrudes through the wall of the esophagus. It can lead to tears, inflammation, or infection. We can treat and repair these areas with laparoscopic or robotic surgery to alleviate painful and difficulty swallowing.
SurgOne is a regional center that specializes in the surgical treatment of Gastroparesis. In fact, we are the busiest center in the region. Gastroparesis is a condition where the stomach empties slowly or stops moving food through all together. It can cause nausea, vomiting, bloating and a feeling of fullness. Individuals with diabetes or those who have had previous esophageal or stomach surgery are at increased risk of gastroparesis, but it can often happen to people without any risk factors. To diagnose the condition, we offer a gastric emptying study and then we offer the most advanced treatments including:
- Neurostimulation – A small gastric stimulator is implanted in the stomach to create impulses that can help with symptoms of gastroparesis.
- G-POEM – An incisionless endoscopic procedure to divide the pyloric muscle and improve stomach emptying
- Feeding access – Laparoscopic placement of a Feeding tube into the small intestine to assist in feeding and provide nutrition by bypassing the stomach
- Gastrectomy – Laparoscopic surgery to remove a large part of the stomach which can often improve gastroparesis symptoms significantly.
Men are more prone to developing esophageal cancer and smoking, heaving drinking and a diagnosis of Barrett’s Esophagus can all put one at greater risk of esophageal cancer. Typically, this type of cancer does not show any signs or symptoms in the early stages, but as it progresses painful or difficulty swallowing, coughing, hoarseness, and weight loss are common symptoms. Our surgeons are experts in treating esophageal cancer and provides both laparoscopic and robotic minimally invasive surgical options.
- Esophagus Sparing Resection – Minimally invasive techniques to Remove small areas of abnormal cells
- MIE – Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy – this procedure removes all or part of the esophagus
- Placement of feeding tubes, as needed, and reconstructive surgeries that use the stomach to reconstruct an esophagus
Risk factors include obesity, a family history, smoking or drinking. To treat stomach cancer our surgeons may perform:
- Minimally Invasive Gastrectomy – A laparoscopic procedure that removes a portion of the stomach to remove areas that are cancerous.
- Total Gastrectomy – The removal of the entire stomach to treat stomach cancer. Often the surgeon can connect the esophagus directly to the intestines to allow continuity of the GI tract.
Recovering From Esophageal or Stomach Surgery
Fortunately, many of the surgeries our foregut surgeons perform are minimally invasive. This means the recovery time is often quick, and many patients can go home on the same day as their surgery or have just an overnight stay. It is rare to require a long hospitalization.