Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus caused by stomach acid, and has different triggers, including certain foods, medications, pregnancy, obesity or even stress. Occasional heartburn isn't dangerous, but chronic heartburn can indicate serious problems. It can develop into GERD, or even Barrett's esophagus, the formation of precancerous tissue in the esophagus.
Why Choose YNHH
Skilled and dedicated professionals representing a multidisciplinary approach to patient care lead the Gastrointestinal Motility Program. Patients have access to virtually every available endoscopic and manometric technique-plus some investigational diagnostic and therapeutic procedures not available elsewhere in the Northeast. YNHH specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of motility disorders for the entire gastrointestinal tract, including:
- Bacterial overgrowth
- Barrett's esophagus
- Fecal incontinence (weak sphincter)
- Gastroesophageal reflux (acidic and non-acidic)
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Intestinal pseuodoobstruction
Yale-New Haven brings together a wide variety of disciplines to help patients deal with every aspect of gastroenterology. The close relationship between Yale-New Haven's departments of diagnostic imaging, pathology and surgery also allows physicians to use specialized techniques for diagnosing and treating even the most complex disorders.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Common symptoms of motility disorders, such as bloating, heartburn and difficulty swallowing frequently go unexplained despite routine testing and treatment. In these cases, the problem often lies in the way the intestine's muscles and nerves work together to move food down the GI tract.
In addition to routine evaluations, YNHH gastroenterologists employ advanced testing when diagnosing motility disorders, including:
- Impedance-pH monitoring for non-acidic reflux
- 24- and 48-hour Bravo® monitoring of esophageal acidity
- High-resolution esophageal and anorectal manometry
- Hydrogen breath testing for bacterial overgrowth
- Intestinal transit testing for patients with chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome
- SmartPill testing for patients with gastroparesis and chronic constipation
Making a diagnosis is essential in opening up new treatment options for patients who have grown used to suffering. Effective remedies such as dietary changes or medications to prevent motility disorders from worsening are important as well. Those diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus may be treated in an out-patient setting with HALO ablation therapy-a technique in which heat energy is delivered with precision to destroy precancerous tissues.
Physician referrals are welcome, or patients may call directly to schedule an appointment at Temple Medical Center. For more information, or to make an appointment with a GI specialist, call 203.785.4138.