Extinguish the burn of acid reflux

By David Kloss, M.D., FACS

 

You know that painful little burn you get in your chest after you eat? That’s acid reflux. It’s a pretty common occurrence in this country, and sometimes, it can interfere with everyday life.

Tri-County Health Care has advanced by leaps and bounds in our available technology for treating and managing reflux. Our newest gadget, software for esophageal manometry testing, examines how well your esophagus, or food pipe, muscles work.

manometry testing

Dr. Kloss volunteered to let operating room nurses practice the new manometry testing on him.

When we installed this new technology on May 23, I enthusiastically volunteered to let the operating room nurses practice on me to get them prepped and educated for our first patient.

To conduct this test, we gently insert a thin electronic catheter covered in tiny sensors down your throat to measure the pressure in your esophagus. Nurses give you liquid to swallow while the machine records the pressure, represented by colors on our chart.

Purple shows low pressure the moment you swallow. After that, the chart should display red for high pressure as your esophagus contracts to push the liquid into your stomach.

Why is this important? It shows us if the sphincters in your esophagus are working properly. Sphincters are handy muscles at the top and bottom of your esophagus that keep out fluid and saliva. We pay the most attention to the lower sphincter because when that isn’t working properly, it allows stomach acid to splash into your esophagus and causes reflux.

Once we determine you have bad reflux, you could be a candidate for our LINX procedure. LINX involves putting a little ring of magnetic beads around your esophagus by the lower sphincter to tighten it just enough so that stomach acid can’t get in. The magnets are weak enough so that when you swallow, your esophageal muscles can still push food through.

test results

Manometry testing records esophagus pressure using a color chart. Purple is low, and red is high. Operating room nurses check the results of Dr. Kloss’ test.

Manometry testing plays a crucial role in determining if you are even eligible for LINX because esophagus function is the deciding factor. If your esophageal muscles are weak or don’t work properly and you have the LINX procedure, then your muscles won’t be strong enough to open up those magnets and push food through. Then you’ll be really unhappy.

This technology benefits thousands of people in the area because you don’t have to go to the Mayo, Brainerd, Fargo or elsewhere. In fact, TCHC is one of only nine hospitals in the entire state that offers this surgery. We can do it all here and quickly get you on the road to recovery and relief.

To schedule an appointment for a consultation about the LINX procedure, call 218-631-7581. For more information, click here.

 

About the Author: Dr. Kloss is a board-certified general surgeon at Tri-County Health Care. In his free time, Dr. Kloss is an avid marathon runner. His race résumé includes the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., as well as marathons in Dublin, Ireland; Paris, France; and Pittsburgh. He also ran the Twin Cities Marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the New York City marathon for the American Cancer Society. Dr. Kloss also earned Ironman status, having completed the Madison, Wisconsin, Ironman race in 2014. All this running helps Dr. Kloss control his weight so he can eat cookies WHENEVER he wants.

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