Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Learn about common surgeries and conditions treated at Penn State Children’s Hospital. Our Pediatric Surgery team is experienced in many areas.

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Surgical treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux or backwash of stomach contents up into the esophagus (swallowing tube) occurs to some degree normally in infants. Most infants will outgrow this “acid reflux” during the first year of life.  Gastroesophageal reflux is a disease (GERD) when it interferes with normal growth and development. GERD may result in “nutritional failure”; GERD may damage the esophagus; GERD may result in aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs and cause pneumonia or make lung disease worse. GERD is usually treated by pediatricians and pediatric gastroenterologists using acid reduction medicines along with changes in feeding technique and sometimes special formulas. Surgery is rarely required to treat GERD in infants and children.

If the medical treatments for GERD are not sufficient or symptoms persist in spite of best treatment, surgical control of GERD may help. Pediatric surgeons at Penn State Children's Hospital perform anti-reflux surgery using laparoscopic, video.

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E-mail: pedsurg@pennstatehealth.psu.edu