Digestive Care - Ochsner Baton Rouge

heart burn

Ochsner Baton Rouge's Gastroenterology  Department provides comprehensive treatment for digestive disorders including a full array of diagnostic tests and treatments for patients with heartburn. Call 225-761-5200 for more information about all the tests and treatments available or to schedule a consult with an Ochsner physician specializing in digestive care.

pH-Impedance Testing

Heartburn, or acid reflux, is widespread among today’s adult population, impacting millions of Americans.  While most have an occasional bout of heartburn, some people struggle with heartburn daily.  Prescribed medications, antacids and directed changes to diet may reduce symptoms, but do not always solve the problem.

pH-impedance testing is used to determine whether the patient is experiencing acid reflux or non-acid reflux.  The test results can lead to a new treatment plan or an adjustment in the current plan. 

This test has proven effective in determining a cause in patients with frequent, unresponsive heartburn and those with chronic coughing or epigastric pain.

In The News

Read more on pH-impedance testing in this article from CentralSpeaks.com

Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge and WAFB-TV interview Gregory Gaspard, MD, Gastroenterology to discuss a new diagnostic tool that identifies acid reflux versus non-acid reflux.

About The Test

Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge is currently one of only a few medical centers in the southeast region of the country to offer this level of precise testing, with patients coming from New Orleans, Mississippi and Florida to have the test performed.

“Impedance testing allows us to examine in closer detail exactly what is happening.  With that information we may change the patient’s medications or dosage or even recommend surgery if necessary.  In the end, the patient should see greatly improved results because the more precise details the test generates allow us to formulate a better, more individualized treatment plan,” says Gregory Gaspard, M.D., Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge Gastroenterologist.

The impedance test is conducted over a 24 hour period.  During that time the patient wears a thin catheter which is passed through the nose and into the esophagus.  The monitor records and charts all reflux episodes which are then analyzed by the physician along with input from the patient as to when they experienced symptoms.  Together this information alerts the physician as to which type of reflux is present and how often it occurs.

“This is an important tool to have available in the diagnosis of heartburn, especially because heartburn is such a common problem among adults,” says Dr. Gaspard.

Treatment Options 

Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge offers an incisionless surgical treatment called EsophyX TIF (transoral incisionless fundoplication) as a treatment option for regular heartburn.

To learn more about this treatment, click here

About Heartburn

Impacting thousands of adults daily, heartburn, also referred to as acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is caused by acid that escapes from the stomach.  Symptoms may include:

  • a burning feeling in the chest
  • burping or belching
  • pain in the upper abdomen
  • worsening of these symptoms when bending over or lying down
  • chronic cough and hoarseness

To reduce heartburn symptoms doctors recommend that you avoid foods that trigger heartburn; do not overeat; do not nap after eating, especially after large meals and work on reducing your stress.  Maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can also reduce heartburn risk.  If symptoms persist and over-the-counter medications such as antacids do not help, you should see your doctor.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe chest pain, have difficulty breathing or have jaw or arm pain as these may be a sign of a heart attack.