Thoracic Surgery

Acid Reflux Disorders / GERD

The stomach produces acid to aid in digestion. When this acid comes up into the esophagus, we call it gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This common condition affects about one in five Americans. Doctors do not know what causes GERD. But people who experience GERD often have a weak lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that prevents food from climbing up the esophagus from the stomach), or looseness in the opening that separates the chest from the abdomen.

If you have GERD, you may experience heartburn, chest pain, hoarseness, chronic cough, asthma, and pneumonia. Over time, you may develop esophageal ulcers or strictures, Barrett’s metaplasia (cells in the esophagus that change to stomach-like cells), or esophageal cancer. At Mount Sinai, we use a team approach for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. We often work with experts in gastroenterology, otolaryngology, speech and swallowing therapy, medical and radiation oncology, and radiology.   


We use a variety of tests and technologies for diagnosis and treatment. These include:

  • Ambulatory pH testing
  • Endoscopic visualization
  • Fluoroscopic radiographic analysis
  • Manometric analysis of esophageal motility
  • Ultrasound and biopsy


To treat GERD, we select the approach most appropriate for your medical condition. Common approaches are:

  • Endoscopic approach to create a functional sphincter
  • Laparoscopic fundoplication and myotomy

Coordinated Care

Our surgeons work as a team to provide the best possible diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. We often work with experts in:

  • Gastroenterology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Medical and radiation oncology
  • Radiology
  • Speech and swallowing therapy

Follow-up Care

At Mount Sinai, we monitor you closely after treatment is over. We want to catch any problems early enough to nip them in the bud. We enroll you in a registry that helps us keep track of your progress and any changes you experience.