Today, reflux is generally treated with medication. In a small proportion of patients, medication does not work and the patient is required to undergo surgery. If reflux disease is not medically treated or surgically treated, then there is a possibility for the patient to develop the Barrett's disease in the esophagus in the long-term, as well as the esophagus cancer.
The medication usually act through the secretion of the stomach acid. In addition, a drug that strengthens the clamping effect between the stomach and the esophagus can be added to the prescription.
A six week treatment is often enough at the beginning. However, it should be known that reflux can repeat even after getting healed. It is often wrong to comment on the success of treatment for reflux disease unless the treatment is applied for six weeks.
The basic principle of the reflux diet is to start with low-fat foods. Another important precaution is not to consume much tomatoes. It should also be known that chocolate, foods that contain acid, dark coffee and carbonated yeast pastries will increase reflux.
Stopping or reducing the use of any kind of tobacco products is crucial. Nicotine weakens the lower esophagus muscle. Avoid chewing gum and sugar as well. Because they result in a flow of acid towards the esophagus and they increase the amount of air ingested.
It is a treatment method developed for patients who neither want to use medication nor undergo surgery. As it is the case in endoscopy, the mouth is accessed and the area between the stomach and the esophagus, where the reflux is located, is narrowed down. The procedure lasts about an hour and the patient is then kept under observation at the hospital for about 1 day.
Patients, whose reflux could not be treat by other means undergo surgery. In the surgical treatment, the upper part of the stomach is completely or partially wrapped around the esophagus. The name of this operation is fundoplication surgery.