Introducing The Heartburn & Reflux Center at DCMC

Door County Medical Center is one of the top critical access hospitals in the nation. More than a hospital, Door County Medical Center is an integrated health system providing the residents of Door and Kewaunee counties with state of the art technology and procedures, and top physicians.

DCMC Heartburn and Reflux CenterThere are 4 big ways Door County Medical Center brings state of the art technology to our community. #2 is our Heartburn and Reflux Center.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a common disease impacting 40% of Americans that can lead to serious health consequences if it is not detected early. Heartburn (acid reflux) occurs when stomach contents backup, or reflux, into the esophagus. Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation that may radiate to the neck, throat, or along your jawline. If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you may have GERD.

“Things like a chronic sore throat, persistent cough or hoarse voice are things that can occur from irritation of the gastric refluxate coming into the upper airway. One important alarm symptom is dysphasia which is trouble swallowing or food getting stuck, especially if it’s down in the lower chest. That has to be evaluated fairly quickly,” says Dr. Shaun J. Melarvie, M.D., F.A.C.S., “A dentist will sometimes find erosions of the enamel when they’re looking at teeth and will refer their patient back to the primary care provider for evaluation of reflux disease. I see that fairly commonly in my practice here at Door County Medical Center.”

Additional GERD Symptoms:

  • Asthma
  • Chest Pain
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Regurgitation
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Sensitive to some foods & liquids

Patients suffering from acid reflux can now benefit from state of the art diagnosis using the Bravo™ reflux testing system, which is an advanced technology that can help identify the cause of your symptoms. Bravo™ monitors acid content in your esophagus while you continue your regular daily activities and diet. The testing process is comfortable, and the results can help your doctor better understand your symptoms and make confident decisions about your treatment plan.

If your chronic acid reflux cannot be managed by medication or lifestyle changes, Door County Medical Center offers advanced treatment of heartburn with incisionless same-day surgery (TIF) and LINX, a small implant that can support acid suppression therapy.

“One of the newer technologies is called transoral incisionless fundoplication, also known as TIF. It’s a procedure that allows us to do a recreation of the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to help people that are suffering from acid reflux and can’t control their symptoms adequately with medications. What is so nice about the procedure is we can do this operation in less than an hour and with no incisions whatsoever. Many patients come off of their acid reflux medications altogether and stay off of them long term,” explains Kurtis D. Scheer, M.D., F.A.C.S.

The other advanced procedure available at DCMC’s Heartburn and Reflux Center is the LINX® Reflux Management System. It is a “bracelet” made of magnetic titanium beads implanted at the base of the esophagus to reinforce the weakened muscle that allows acid to splash back up. The device is implanted using a standard minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. LINX is indicated for those patients diagnosed with GERD as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy.

“Thus far there have been good patient satisfaction scores with the results obtained for both the LINX® and TIF procedures. It is always important to consult with your doctor to find out which procedure is appropriate for you,” says Dr. Melarvie.

Call to make an appointment for a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons today. (920) 746-1060