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January 2016

An Evidence-Based Approach to the Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(1):73-78. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.4233

Importance  Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is prevalent worldwide, particularly in developed countries. It is estimated that the prevalence of GERD in the United States is approximately 20% and that it is increasing because of the epidemic of obesity.

Objective  To review the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of GERD.

Evidence Review  A search of PubMed was conducted for the years spanning 1985 to 2015 and included the following terms: heartburn, regurgitation, dysphagia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cough, aspiration, laryngitis, GERD, GORD, endoscopy, manometry, pH monitoring, proton pump inhibitors, open fundoplication, and laparoscopic fundoplication. Only articles in English were included.

Findings  Lifestyle modifications, proton pump inhibitors, and laparoscopic fundoplication are proven treatment modalities for GERD. Endoscopic procedures have not been proven as effective. A Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the procedure of choice when GERD and morbid obesity coexist.

Conclusions and Relevance  Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a highly prevalent disease. Once the diagnosis has been established, the best results are obtained by a multidisciplinary team with the goal of individualizing treatment for patients.

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