Acid Reflux Specialist

Gina Sam, MD, MPH -  - Gastroenterologist

Gina Sam, MD, MPH

Gastroenterologist & Wellness Center located in Midtown, New York, NY

Dr. Gina Sam is an experienced and well-known gastroenterologist practicing in New York. She offers expert diagnosis and treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD or reflux. She’s focused her practice on providing relief for this painful condition and has helped so many people that she’s known as “the GERD girl” in medical circles. Call or schedule an appointment online today for effective treatments for reflux.

Acid Reflux

What is reflux?

Reflux or GERD is a condition where acid from your stomach travels up your esophagus. Your stomach acid irritates the lining of your esophagus causing heartburn and pain. Some common symptoms of reflux include:

  • Heartburn that is worse after eating or at night
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Feeling a lump in your throat
  • Regurgitation of food or a sour liquid
  • Chest pain

Most people experience heartburn or reflux symptoms every now and then. However, if you have mild reflux symptoms twice a week or severe symptoms once a week or more, you should get medical diagnosis and treatment from an expert like Dr. Sam.

What causes reflux?

Reflux develops when the sphincter — a circular band of muscle between your esophagus and your stomach — becomes weak or relaxed. The loose sphincter allows stomach acid to back up into your esophagus causing irritation and inflammation.

There are a variety of risk factors that can lead to the development of GERD including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Hiatal hernia — when the top of your stomach bulges into the diaphragm
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Pregnancy
  • Dietary choices including large meals, eating late at night, and fried or fatty foods
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

How is reflux diagnosed?

When you make an appointment with Dr. Sam because of reflux symptoms, she runs a series of tests to confirm your diagnosis. She discusses your symptoms with you and looks into your throat to look for signs of GERD.

She may also order further diagnostic tests including an upper endoscopy, which is a procedure where she uses a thin flexible tube with a light and camera on the tip to examine the inside of your esophagus and stomach.

Dr. Sam may perform a pH probe test to monitor the regurgitation of stomach acid. In some cases, she may request an X-ray to look for physical abnormalities in your upper digestive tract that could contribute to your reflux symptoms.

How is reflux treated?

When over-the-counter medications haven’t effectively reduced your symptoms, Dr. Sam offers alternative treatments including prescription strength medications like H-2 receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors. She may also provide a prescription to strengthen the sphincter between your esophagus and your stomach.

In severe cases, Dr. Sam may suggest minimally invasive surgical procedures to improve the function of your sphincter. Two common surgeries include fundoplication and placement of a LINX device.

Call Dr. Sam or book an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for GERD.