ailments and treatments

Treatments and solutions designed to bring you relief.

Esophagus and Associated Diseases

Esophagus and Associated Diseases

Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery offers top of the line surgical solutions for GERD. Historically, most patients chose minimally invasive surgical treatments because medications failed to relieve acid reflux symptoms. While this is still a leading cause of seeking a surgical solution, other reasons are becoming more common.  These include the inconvenience and cost of taking daily medications, the side effects produced by medications, and the desire to actually stop the reflux (medications only treat the symptoms, not the disease).

Learn more about these common ailments:

Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's esophagus describes a condition in which the lining of the esophagus changes its character and cell type in response to chronic gastroesophageal reflux. This is done by the body in an attempt to protect itself from the chemical injury caused by the gastric juices. Unfortunately, this type of transformation promotes the development of esophageal cancer. Patients with Barrett’s esophagus have a 30-40 times increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.


Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a procedure where a flexible tube with a light and camera at the end, called an endoscope, is used to examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

Bravo Ambulatory Ph Monitoring

Catheter-free monitoring

Bravo™ allows us to evaluate your heartburn symptoms to determine the frequency and amount of acid refluxing into your esophagus. Bravo™ is the world’s first catheter-free pH monitoring system that allows patients to maintain their regular diet and activities without the embarrassment and discomfort associated with traditional pH catheter systems.

High Resolution Manometry

High Resolution Manometry

Esophagus in HD

Esophageal manometry is done to see if the esophagus is contracting and relaxing properly. The test helps diagnose swallowing problems. During the test, the doctor can also check the Lower Esophageal Sphincter to see if it opens and closes properly.


Collecting samples

This procedure is the collection of tiny tissue samples from the esophagus that are gathered in an upper endoscopy procedure. We send the tissue samples to our in-house pathologist to examine more closely. This is an additional test to look for the presence of precancerous cells, cancerous cells, or other conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.

Wats3D Biopsy

A more complete biopsy

The WATS3D Biopsy increases the tissue area we are able to sample, therefore, increases the yield of patients identified with abnormality in the esophagus. The WATS3D biopsy device is passed through the operating channel of a standard endoscope. WATS3D is specifically designed to consistently sample deeper layers of the more firmly attached glandular epithelium found in Barrett’s esophagus.

Radiofrequency Abalation

A short procedure, a new lease on life.

Patients with Barrett’s Esophagus are 30-40 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer. Radiofrequency Ablation is a new and highly successful treatment that has been developed to help correct this problem. This is a relatively simple endoscopic procedure during which the Barrett's mucosa of the esophagus is treated with a controlled delivery of radiofrequency energy causing the lining of the esophagus to slough off. During the repair process, normal esophageal cells replace the Barrett's mucosa lining.

Laparoscopic Fundoplication

Historically, the most common surgical procedure used to treat reflux disease is the Nissen Fundoplication. This procedure was developed in 1958. During this procedure, hiatal hernias are reduced and the diaphragmatic hiatus is repaired by suturing the diaphragmatic muscle. The upper portion of the stomach is then wrapped behind the esophagus and tied to itself. In describing this operation we refer to this as being like a "hot dog in a bun". Since the early 1990s, the majority of experienced surgeons perform this operation with a laparoscopic minimally invasive technique. Dr. Pennings and Dr. Richardson perform this operation with a minimally invasive technique.



A short procedure, a new lease on life.

Unlike other procedures to treat reflux, LINX is implanted around the outside of the Lower
Esophageal Sphincter (LES) and requires no alteration to the stomach. This simple, minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure starts to have a positive impact from day one. LINX is designed to start working the moment the device is implanted.

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Northwest Institute for Digestive Surgery - The Digestive Health Experts.