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Heartburn & Swallowing Disorders

This program combines the expertise of Gundersen specialists from Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) and Speech Pathology to efficiently diagnose and treat heartburn and swallowing disorders, generally in a single visit.

Gundersen has a coordinated program for Heartburn and Swallowing Disorders to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with symptoms such as:

  • Painful or difficult swallowing
  • Coughing and choking while swallowing
  • Burning or lump in the throat
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Heartburn, indigestion, reflux
  • Regurgitation of food

Problems not resolved with standard treatments:

Services and procedures:

  • Capsule endoscopy: allows your physician to examine the three portions of the small intestine by having you swallow a vitamin pill-sized camera. This will help the physician determine the cause for recurrent or persistent symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding or anemia.
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection: technique used to diagnose and remove large areas of early gastrointestinal cancers.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): capturing high-quality images of your digestive tract and surrounding tissue and organs using a small ultrasound transducer on the tip of an endoscope. EUS can be used for patients suffering chronic pancreatitis or fecal incontinence.
  • Esophageal manometry: test to measure the strength and function of the esophagus (the "food pipe"). Results can help identify causes of heartburn, swallowing problems or chest pain.
  • Esophagectomy surgery: removal of part or all of the esophagus
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): procedure to diagnose and treat problems in your upper GI tract (gastrointestinal tract)
  • HALO radiofrequency ablation: using radiofrequency energy heat energy is delivered through a catheter to eliminate diseased tissue. The procedure specifically targets only the layer of diseased tissue without harming the healthy structures underneath it.
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Minimally invasive GERD treatments: Eliminate the cause of reflux or significantly reduce symptoms with laparoscopic LINX surgery.
  • pH studies: tests to measure the amount of acid in your body.
  • Swallowing and motility testing

If you suffer from symptoms like those listed above, talk with your primary care provider about a referral to the Heartburn and Swallowing Disorders program through Gastroenterology at Gundersen in La Crosse.

In many cases, once the diagnoses and care plan are established, treatment can be managed by the patient’s primary care provider.

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