Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant has launched a comprehensive program to help those suffering from heartburn and reflux. Sixty million Americans experience at least one episode every month and some studies report that more than 15 million Americans have symptoms every day. The new Heartburn and Reflux Program offers new treatment options for people suffering from uncomfortable chest pain caused by diet, obesity and a lack of exercise.

“San Antonio has a high prevalence of obesity, a factor in the increase of heartburn and reflux,” said Richard Englehardt, MD, general surgeon at Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant. “It can be dangerous when those symptoms come together and cause gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD. That leads to ulcers, precancerous conditions in the esophagus, and other complications like pneumonia, recurrent sinus infections and changes in vocal cords when people are consistently choking on or inhaling stomach acid.”

Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant has state-of-the art technology and robotic surgical platforms making it the ideal location for a program of this kind. The hospital’s Gastrointestinal Laboratory (GI Lab) allows patients to be evaluated on site for heartburn and reflux. Expert surgeons and gastroenterologists work together to fully evaluate patients, determine the cause of their issues, and provide the best treatment available. The hospital is also home to the Methodist Weight Loss Center, which provides surgical and medical weight loss treatment.

“Adding the Heartburn and Reflux Program was a natural fit considering the staff and technology we have in our hospital,” said Jeff Wilson, CEO of Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant. “Patients are going to find an expert care team dedicated to providing relief. We are excited to bring this comprehensive new program to the community.”

GERD Awareness Week is Nov. 17-22. It is a time to encourage people to seek treatment for their symptoms.