Treatments and solutions designed to bring you relief.
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).
Symptoms of esophageal cancer often include difficulty in swallowing and weight loss. Other symptoms may include pain when swallowing, a hoarse voice, enlarged lymph nodes, a dry cough, and possibly coughing up or vomiting blood. The two main sub-types of the disease are esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma and esophageal adenocarcinoma. The most common causes of the squamous-cell type are: tobacco, alcohol, and a poor diet. The most common causes of the adenocarcinoma type are smoking tobacco, obesity, and acid reflux. Patients with Barrett’s esophagus have a 30-40 times increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. Treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach and may include endoscopic treatments (resection, stenting, feeding tube placement), esophagectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a specialized endoscopic technique used by our doctors to diagnose and remove large areas of early cancers arising in the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. EMR has become a safe alternative to surgery for the treatment of early cancer arising from conditions including Barrett’s esophagus.
Esophagectomy is performed for cancer of the esophagus or a severely damaged esophagus. This surgery removes part or all of the esophagus and reconnects the GI system from part of the stomach or large intestine.