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what is gerd


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), similar to acid reflux disease, is a chronic condition caused by changes in the gastroesophageal valve (GEV). In a healthy patient, this valve between the esophagus and the stomach that forms a physical barrier preventing stomach fluids from backwashing, or “refluxing,” up into the esophagus – this is often referred to as acid reflux – gastroesophageal reflux (GER). In a patient with chronic GERD, this valve has become dysfunctional. GERD can lead to short-term bothersome symptoms, which can vary from mild or moderate to severe depending on the person. Visiting the GERD treatment center can help patients eliminate their symptoms.


Sore throat
Change in voice
Difficulty swallowing
Excessive salivation
Gas and bloating
Cough and hoarseness
Pain or discomfort in the chest/shortness of breath
Intolerance of certain foods and liquids
Bad breath, dental erosion or a sour taste in the mouth

Over-the-counter and prescription medications are effective for SHORT TERM RELIEF of heartburn symptoms, but for some PPI medications no longer effectively treat symptoms. If your symptoms aren’t being controlled or are getting worse, it may be time to consider advanced treatment. 

Please contact us if you or someone you know suffers with chronic GERD or acid reflux. Schedule a consultation if you would like more information about how our expert GERD specialists can get you back to living without the pills and without heartburn. Or visit our offices to start your GERD treatment in Nashville, TN today! 


Freedom from: medication, heartburn, regurgitation, bloating, and improved quality of life.


It is possible to treat GERD and acid reflux disease with surgery. The most common surgery to treat heartburn is called fundoplication. There are different surgical techniques your surgeon can use to treat GERD and acid reflux. Read below to see what GERD surgeries The Surgical Clinic offers to the Nashville, Tennessee area. 




515 StoneCrest Pkwy | Suite 230
Smyrna, TN 37167
TEL 615.223.9935
FAX 615.891.5046


3901 Central Pike | Suite 555
Hermitage, TN 37076
TEL 615.874.9667
FAX 615.871.9682


356 24th Ave. North | Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37203
TEL 615.329.7887
FAX 615.340.4537

St. Thomas West CLINIC

4230 Harding Pike | Suite 525
Nashville, TN 37205
TEL 615.385.1547
FAX 615.297.9161

Columbia Clinic

832 Westover Drive | Suite 200
Columbia, TN 38401
TEL 931.380.3033
FAX 931.388.3401


Print and fill out the GERD Quiz out and bring it in to your appointment.

GERD Treatments | Nashville, TN

About GERD Treatment Options

The Surgical Clinic in Tennessee offers 3 types of GERD Treatments – LINX Reflux Management System, Nissen (laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication) and TIF (transoral incisionless fundoplication).

These are all recommended treatments and depend on your case and your GERD specialist’s opinion. We offer these GERD treatments at 5 different locations throughout the Greater Nashville and the Middle Tennessee area.


TIF | Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication

TIF transoral procedure for reflux in tennesseeTIF is an acronym, transoral incisionless fundoplication, and the advantage is that it is ‘surgery from within’ performed through the mouth, not through an incision. TIF procedure with the EsophyX device is a simple intervention that repairs the gastroesophageal valve, the root cause of GERD. The TIF procedure reconstructs the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to prevent reflux.

  • The FDA approved this device and procedure in 2007.
  • Minimally invasive: Fast recovery
  • Restores valve to natural state: Maintain normal bodily functions
  • No incisions: No scars
  • No metal implant: No need to remove foreign object
  • No dissection of stomach: No scar tissue

Clinical studies show that at three years after the TIF procedure:

  • 70% were able to completely stop PPI therapy
  • 87% of patients reported reflux esophagitis healed
  • 91% of patients reported elimination of troublesome regurgitation

For more information visit Providers offering TIF procedure

Dr. John Boskind – Summit Clinic

Dr. Joshua Taylor – TSC Rutherford

Dr. Willie Melvin – TSC Rutherford



LINX® Reflux Management System

Linx procedure for reflux disease in nashville GERDThe LINX® Reflux Management System is a laparoscopic, fundic-sparing antireflux procedure indicated for patients diagnosed with
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy (i.e. proton pump inhibitors or equivalent) in the management of their GERD.

LINX® is a flexible ring of small magnets about the size of a quarter that is placed around the esophagus just above the stomach using a minimally invasive surgical technique.

The strength of the magnets helps keep the valve between your stomach and esophagus closed to prevent reflux. When you swallow, the magnets separate temporarily to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach.

The procedure lasts about an hour and many patients are able to go home the same day.

The FDA approved this device and procedure in 2012.

99% of patients reported no bothersome heartburn affecting their sleep nightly

91% of patients achieved freedom from daily medication for GERD

97% of patients required no change to their diet from heartburn on a daily basis

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there side effects with LINX®?
The most common side effect is discomfort or difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia. It is often temporary and a normal part of the healing process. For more information on side effects please visit

When can I start eating normally again?
Patients are encouraged to return to a normal diet as soon as tolerated or as directed by their physician.

When can I return to normal physical activities?
Patients are generally able to return to non-strenuous activity within a couple of days.

Can I have an MRI?
Yes. LINX® patients may undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) up to either 0.7 – Tesla (0.7T) or 1.5 – Tesla (1.5T) depending on the LINX® model implanted. You should discuss the MRI scanning options with your physician prior to deciding on treatment with LINX®. LINX® patients can also undergo: CT scan, ultrasound, x-ray and PET scan.

For more information:

Providers offering LINX

Dr. Trudie Goers – Downtown (Centennial) Clinic

Dr. Tyson Thomas – St. Thomas West Clinic

Dr. Willie Melvin – TSC Rutherford

Torax supplied art/photos for the articles. The LINX® Reflux Management System is indicated for those patients diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who continue to have chronic GERD symptoms despite maximum medical therapy for the treatment of reflux. Caution: Federal law (USA) restricts these devices to sale by or on the order of a physician.Contraindications: Do not implant the LINX® System in patients with suspected or known allergies to titanium, stainless steel, nickel or ferrous materials. Warnings: The LINX® device is considered MR Conditional in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system up to either 0.7 Tesla (0.7T) or 1.5 Tesla (1.5T), depending on the LINX® model implanted. Laparoscopic placement of the LINX® device is major surgery. General Precautions: The LINX® device is a long-term implant for use in patients 21 years or older. Medical management of adverse reactions may include explantation and/or replacement. Potential Risks Associated with LINX® System: dysphagia, stomach bloating, nausea, odynophagia, increased belching, decreased appetite, inability to belch or vomit, flatulence, early satiety, device erosion, device migration, infection, pain, and worsening of preoperative symptoms. For more information on the LINX® Reflux Management System, contact your physician or Torax Medical, Inc. For full patient information visit or Supported by Torax Nissen information came from Krames info on our website: The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.



The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a one-way valve at the top of the stomach. It keeps food and fluid from flowing backward. During fundoplication, the LES is restructured. The Nissen procedure involves wrapping the very top of the stomach around the lower part of the esophagus. Most often, general anesthesia is used.  The doctor makes 2 to 4 small incisions in your belly area (abdomen). The scope is put through one of the incisions. The scope sends live pictures to a video screen. This lets the doctor see inside your abdomen. The esophagus travels through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus. You have a hiatal hernia if your stomach has pulled up into the chest area. If this is the case, the hiatus is tightened with a few stitches. The stomach is wrapped around the outside of the esophagus. The wrap is stitched into place. Any incisions are closed with stitches (sutures) or staples. Providers offering Nissen

GERD Reflux Disease

FAQ | Heartburn/GERD

What is acid reflux surgery?

Have you been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Do you wonder if you will be taking antacids and pills the rest of your life to treat heartburn?

Are you still unable to eat the foods you want or must sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux?

Did you know that long-term heartburn also leads to esophageal cancer?

What foods should you avoid with GERD or acid reflux symptoms?

What is acid reflux surgery?

Surgery for acid reflux/GERD is most often done with laparoscopy. But it may also be done with open surgery.

Laparoscopy. This surgery uses a few small cuts (incisions). A thin, lighted tube called a laparoscope is used. This scope lets the doctor see inside your body and work through the small incisions.

The benefits of laparoscopic acid reflux surgery in Nashville are:

  • Reduced pain post-surgery
  • A short recovery time
  • Less time in the hospital
  • A better cosmetic result

Open surgery.  This surgery uses one large incision. The doctor sees and works through this incision. This method may be used if your doctor feels it isn’t safe to continue with laparoscopic surgery. Open surgery for acid reflux is often done when laparoscopic is not possible, like in the case of prior abdominal surgery, obesity, and bleeding issues.

How to help acid reflux

What You Can Do To Help Acid Reflux

Smaller meals are better. Consuming less meals more frequently can help to relieve stomach strain. Your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) may relax as a result of increased stomach pressure, allowing stomach contents to flow up into your esophagus.

Slowly eat. If you take smaller chunks and chew your meal completely, you’ll be less likely to overeat or irritate your esophagus or stomach.

After eating, don’t lie down too soon. Reflux is less likely if you stay upright for two to three hours after eating. When you stand or sit upright, gravity helps keep your stomach’s contents from flowing upward. When you lie down, it’s easier for them to enter your esophagus.

If you’re not really hungry, don’t snack. Eating more while your stomach is full might cause stomach pressure to rise.

Avoid wearing clothing that is too tight around your waist. When you eat, your clothing can place strain on your abdomen, which can put pressure on your stomach and LES.

Maintain a healthy weight. Adding weight can put pressure on your internals.

Is your heartburn something more serious?

What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a term commonly used to describe symptoms. Most of the burning sensation is the epigastric, or upper abdomen area next to the heart. A lot of patients come in and present to the emergency room with symptoms similar to a heart attack. It goes by the name of heartburn, indigestion, reflux, acid reflux… All of those describe the symptoms presented from the regurgitation of acid from the stomach to the esophagus.

How do you manage heartburn? Initially, symptoms may present once or twice after a certain event or after certain meals, sometimes we overindulge at Thanksgiving and all of that pressure forces more acid up. The reality is that all of us have reflux; it’s a normal physiological response. The difference is that normally once you get that reflux, there’s an inherent mechanism that flushes away (or neutralizes/clears away) that process. In the standing position, if you have reflux, acid would then go down because of gravity. The alkaline nature of your saliva as you swallow, it neutralizes some of that reflux. The normal valve mechanism that causes things to go in one direction sometimes doesn’t work well and that presents with a pathologic problem of acid reflux disease, heartburn, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Initially, once heartburn has been treated, sometimes you can get medicines over the counter. A lot of these are more powerful, anti-acid or acid blocking medicine, which is okay once in awhile.

How to reduce initial heartburn:
– adjust your diet
– don’t over eat
– have smaller portions over a day period
– modify your behavior
– don’t eat too late and then lay down

Learn more about what heartburn is and how to treat it from Dr. Melvin’s video.

Contact Our TENNESSEE GERD & Acid Reflux Specialists

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