Treatment and prognosis
GERD is usually treated with antacids and other medications. The prognosis of GERD is extremely good.
1 . Medications
Over-the-counter antacids are prescribed to counter GERD in most people. They are often the first group of drugs recommended by the doctor to relieve heartburn and other moderate symptoms of GERD.
H2 blockers, Foaming agents and proton pump inhibitors are some of the other categories of drugs used to treat GERD.
The drugs used include –
If a patient has been on antacids for two weeks without relief, then it is time to consult the doctor for change in treatment.
2. Surgical treatments
Fundoplication surgery and the minimally invasive Radiofrequency treatment are used to treat patients suffering from GERD.
Fundoplication surgery can be done either by open technique or by using a laparoscopic technique. At present the minimally invasive technique is more popular. The advantage is that the patient is discharged the next day after the surgery.
In fundoplication surgery the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the oesophagus so that it acts like a second valve to prevent acid from refluxing. It is a relatively straight forward procedure.
The prognosis of GERD is extremely good with 80-90% of the affected individuals recovering with the help of antacids. Some may need other medications, but it is not very clear how long it will take for them to recover. In some, the recovery may be temporary or partial.