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St. Joseph’s Health opens heartburn center

By Eric Reinhardt


St. Joseph's LogoSYRACUSE, N.Y. — St. Joseph’s Health has announced the opening of a heartburn center at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.

St. Joseph’s described the facility as the “first dedicated and comprehensive heartburn-treatment center in the greater Syracuse region.”

The new center is located at specialty services inside the hospital, it said in a news release.


Describing the need

Studies suggest that about one-third of the U.S. population has Gastroesophageal Disease (GERD), according to the Milwaukee, Wisconsin–based International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

GERD affects one in five adults and more than 20 million people in the U.S. are currently taking medications for reflux.

“Reflux is one of the fastest growing disease conditions in the United States,” Dr. Atul Maini, surgeon with St. Joseph’s Health, said in the release. “Until now, patients who suffer from heartburn may have gone to their primary-care physicians or a gastroenterologist for treatment, or they may have tried to self-medicate with over-the-counter remedies that may not solve the underlying problem or may cause some serious side effects.”

The “specialized” care is available for anyone suffering from any degree of heartburn, from occasional minor discomfort to those needing surgery.

The heartburn center provides “one-stop care” with physicians that include a gastroenterologist, robotics surgeon, bariatric surgeon, pulmonologist, dieticians, and psychology-care providers who “work together to address the disease, not just the symptoms,” St. Joseph’s said.

The heartburn center is the “only facility” in Central New York to offer the LINX implant procedure for heartburn treatment.

The LINX implant is placed at the bottom of the esophagus to help strengthen the valve between the esophagus and stomach, and stop acid from backing up into the esophagus as easily.

The implant is about the size of a quarter, inserted through “minimally invasive” laparoscopic surgery.

Most patients are able to return to normal eating and activity “within a couple of days,” St. Joseph’s said.


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