Overview

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious form of the more common gastroesophageal reflux or acid reflux.

Reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (a ring of muscle) either opens spontaneously or else does not close properly, allowing stomach contents to rise up into the esophagus. This sphincter acts like a valve connecting the stomach to the esophagus, and when that valve stops working properly, reflux develops.

The digestive juices of the stomach contain powerful acid that can, over time, damage the lining of the esophagus. While reflux may occur commonly, GERD is a more serious condition that occurs more than twice a week, and can cause health problems if untreated.

The Thoracic Surgery Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers the latest surgical procedures for benign and malignant diseases of the chest, including the tracheobronchial tree (airways), lungs, pleura, esophagus, diaphragm, chest wall and mediastinum. Our program comprises a highly specialized team that provides integrated care and practices medicine centered on each patient’s unique circumstances, including:

  • Comprehensive and seamlessly coordinated care across multiple physician disciplines, with team members from:
    • Medical oncology
    • Radiation oncology
    • Interventional pulmonology
    • Thoracic pathology
    • Thoracic radiology
  • A highly specialized team of nurses, anesthesiologists and support personnel
  • Advanced diagnostic technologies
  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques
  • Convenient and customized patient and family services
  • Significant expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques
  • Nationally recognized clinical experts
  • Demonstrated quality outcomes
  • Access to novel therapies and clinical trials
  • Commitment to collaboration with referring physicians
  • Collaboration with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies in clinical trials to improve patient care and advance thoracic science

Thoracic Surgery

If you require chest surgery, you will find comfort and confidence in the thoracic surgery team at Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group. The team includes two dedicated, board-certified thoracic surgeons, including one who is specially trained in minimally invasive da Vinci® robotic-assisted thoracic surgery.

Our physicians treat the following conditions, among others:

  • Abnormalities of the chest wall (pectus excavatum)
  • Benign and malignant tumors of the lung, esophagus, and mediastinum
  • COPD and emphysema
  • Excessive sweating of the palms and face (hyperhidrosis)
  • GERD
  • Hernias (Hiatal, Hyperhidrosis)
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymph node enlargement (adenopathy)
  • Pleural effusion
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Thymoma
  • Lung nodules