Reflux Treatment Outpatient Clinic
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is an extremely common digestive disorder that affects an estimated 20 percent of adults in the western world. Left untreated, GERD can lead to inflammation and damage to the lining of the esophagus, narrowing of the esophagus, pre-cancerous changes to the esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus) and esophageal cancer.
Sarasota Memorial’s dedicated, outpatient Reflux Clinic offers comprehensive evaluation, diagnostic testing and personalized treatment plans for those living with GERD, heartburn, esophageal disorders and other symptoms of esophageal dysfunction.
The Reflux Clinic is led by Sarasota Memorial and First Physician’s Group gastrointestinal and surgical specialists. Clinic Director Arundathi Rao, MD, is a bariatric surgeon who specializes in weight-loss surgery with a focus on disorders of the foregut. Clinic Co-director Kenneth Meredith, MD, is a gastrointestinal oncology surgeon who specializes in treating benign and malignant diseases of the foregut and gastrointestinal tract.
Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center at Clark Rd.
5880 Rand Blvd., Ste. 101, Sarasota, FL 34238
Personalized Services for GERD, Heartburn & Esophageal Disorders
Comprehensive Evaluation: During an initial evaluation, specialists perform a thorough digestive health assessment, including a physical and complete review of health history and prior diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic Testing: Further tests may be needed to fully evaluate condition severity. These may include esophageal pH monitoring, esophagram, high-resolution mannometry and/or a gastric emptying study.
Disease Management and Treatment: After reviewing test results, clinic specialists work with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan, along with the patient’s primary and specialty care physicians and FPG’s team of dedicated gastro¬intestinal specialists. Each plan includes education, support and treatment options designed to eliminate or reduce the risk of serious complications from GERD.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatment Options
The Reflux Clinic offers the best available surgical solutions for GERD and provides safe alternatives for those who don’t find adequate relief from medications, who suffer side effects from medications, or who simply want to stop the reflux and avoid the inconvenience and cost of taking daily medications.
In addition to traditional endoscopic treatments, the latest minimally invasive interventions and surgical options to treat GERD offered through the Reflux Clinic include:
- LINX anti-reflux device. Using a minimally invasive procedure, a flexible ring of small magnets is placed around the LES (the weakened muscle in reflux patients that acts as a barrier to acid entering the esophagus from the stomach). The device helps keep the LES closed, preventing reflux.
- Nissen fundoplication, Dor fundoplication, Toupet fundoplication. These minimally invasive surgical options use a portion of the patient’s stomach to augment the LES.
- Hiatial/paraesophageal hernia repair. The LINX and fundoplication procedures can be performed in conjunction with the repair of hiatal or paraesophageal hernias, if present. These types of hernias are identified pre-operatively during the initial evaluation.
Treating Associated Digestive Disorders
Treatment options for other disorders that are commonly associated with GERD include:
- Heller Myotomy
- Gastrectomy (partial, subtotal and total)
- Robotic procedures
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans will cover some or all of the clinic’s services. Private insurers and Medicare approve the LINX procedure on a case-by-case basis. The Reflux Clinic team can determine whether a patient is a candidate and can start the approval process.
Appointments & Information
The Reflux Clinic welcomes physician referrals, but they are not required. Patients are accepted at any stage of diagnosis or treatment. For appointments and more information, please call 941-917-GERD (4373).