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Upper G.I. Surgery

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Glossary of Related Terms

Esophagus is the tube that carries food, liquids and saliva from your mouth to the stomach.

Nissen fundoplication is a surgical procedure which involves tightening the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux by wrapping the very top of the stomach around the outside of the lower esophagus.

Lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscle that forms a valve at the lower end of the esophagus, where it joins the stomach.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms.

Barrett's esophagus is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is damaged by stomach acid and changed to a lining similar to that of the stomach.

Hiatal hernia is the protrusion (bulging) of the upper part of the stomach into the chest through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an x-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of drugs whose main action is to stop production of stomach acid. They are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion available today.

Esophageal pH monitoring is a test that measures how often and for how long stomach acid enters the tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus).

Endoscopy is a procedure where a doctor is able to see the inside lining of your digestive tract. This examination is performed using an endoscope (a flexible fiberoptic tube with a tiny TV camera at the end). The camera is connected to either an eyepiece for direct viewing or a video screen that displays the images on a color TV. The endoscope not only allows diagnosis of gastrointestinal (GI) disease but treatment as well.

Barium esophagram or swallow is used as an initial diagnostic test for several esophageal conditions such as Barrett's esophagus, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) as well as complications such as stricture, obstruction, narrowing, ulcers and tumors. During this procedure, the patient swallows barium, a white, chalky substance, which can then be viewed via x-ray. Using this procedure the physician can view many abnormalities associated with the esophagus.

Esophageal manometry is a test to measure the pressure inside the lower part of the esophagus. During the test, a thin, pressure-sensitive tube is passed through your mouth or nose and into your stomach. Once in place, the tube is pulled slowly back into your esophagus.

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery , is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) as opposed to the larger incisions needed in laparotomy (surgery where a large incision is made).

 

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University of Southern California
Upper G.I. and General Surgery

1450 San Pablo Street
Healthcare Consultation Center 4
Suite 6200
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Phone: (323) 442-6868
Fax: (323) 865-9630

 
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