Beat The Burn

Almost everyone has occasional heartburn, but did you know that more than 25 million Americans suffer daily from severe, chronic heartburn?

Your esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) happens when a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly. This allows stomach contents to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.

Frequent heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD. Heartburn is often described as a burning sensation in the chest that sometimes spreads to the throat. It is possible to have GERD but not experience heartburn. Other symptoms can include difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), a dry cough, hoarseness or sore throat, regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflux) or a sensation of a lump in the throat.

Many people suffer from these symptoms on a daily basis and require long term treatment with medications such as prilosec, protonex and nexium as well as lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, avoiding foods and beverages that worsen symptoms, losing weight if needed, eating smaller meals, wearing looser-fitting clothes and avoiding lying down within three hours after a meal.

Surgery becomes an option when medicine and lifestyle changes do not help to manage GERD symptoms. Surgery may also be a reasonable alternative to a lifetime of drugs and discomfort. For these individuals, there are two exciting new surgical procedures available here in Las Cruces.
For patients without serious complications of reflux, a new procedure is available. It is called the TIF or Transoral Insionless Fundoplication, and we have delivered excellent clinical results in properly selected patients. TIF is a surgical procedure performed through the mouth without incisions. Advantages of TIF may include less discomfort, faster recovery, and higher patient satisfaction when compared to more traditional surgeries. To view a virtual rendition of the procedure, go to and click on the patient portion.

For patients with serious complications of reflux disease, a da Vinci Robotic Nissen Fundoplication is now available. Using the robot allows for a more precise and secure repair to prevent reflux and avoid complications such as difficulty swallowing and the inability to belch. MountainView Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in Southern New Mexico to offer the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.

Dr. Leonard Metildi specializes in minimally invasive and incision-less Anti-Reflux Surgery that alleviates the pain patients experience from GERD. He is also the only general surgeon in Southern New Mexico that is trained to use da Vinci. Dr. Metildi can be contacted at 575-522-4940 for appointments and consultations.

Summer 2013
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