Acid Reflux Specialist

Michael Sutker, MD

Bariatric, General & Laparoscopic Surgeon located in Dallas, TX & McKinney, TX

Recurring acid reflux that’s left untreated can result in long-term damage. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring acid reflux or ongoing heartburn and instead trust bariatric surgeon Michael Sutker, MD. He can treat you effectively and restore your quality of life so you can eat without fear again. To schedule an appointment at Michael Sutker, MD, PA, for your acid reflux, call either the Dallas or McKinney, Texas, office today or use the online booking feature.

Acid Reflux Q&A

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a digestive disease where stomach acid aggravates the lining of your esophagus, the “pipe” through which food enters your stomach. This condition occurs when the sphincter muscle located at the base of your stomach doesn’t function properly and allows acid from your stomach to re-enter, or reflux, into your esophagus.

The sensitive tissue that lines the esophagus isn’t intended to come in contact with the acid. The result is the trademark burning, or heartburn, associated with acid reflux. Other less common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Raspy voice
  • Tooth decay

One common type of acid reflux is gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as GERD.

What causes acid reflux?

One of the most common causes of acid reflux is structural stomach abnormalities that inhibit your diaphragm‘s ability to restrict acid from reaching your esophagus.

There are also other risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing acid reflux symptoms, including:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Certain beverages (alcohol, tea, coffee, etc.)
  • Pregnancy
  • Snacking close to bedtime
  • Overeating

With the help of Dr. Sutker, acid reflux disease is very treatable.

How is acid reflux treated?

Acid reflux is generally treated with lifestyle modifications and medication management of prescribed drugs, such as antacids, H2 receptor blockers, and foaming agents.

Part of treating acid reflux with lifestyle modifications includes having Dr. Sutker help you detect triggers that bring on symptoms, such as certain habits, foods, or beverages.

In severe cases of acid reflux disease when you don’t see improvement after more conservative methods, Dr. Sutker may recommend surgical techniques to provide effective symptom relief.

What is anti-reflux surgery?

There are three types of anti-reflux surgery Dr. Sutker offers to treat chronic acid reflux and GERD. 

Fundoplication is a traditional type of anti-reflux surgery Dr. Sutker uses to reduce heartburn and other GERD symptoms. This procedure focuses on creating a new valve at the top of your stomach to prevent the backflow of acid into your esophagus. Dr. Sutker performs this procedure laparoscopically and requires only small incisions to create the new valve. 

Other types of anti-reflux surgeries available include gastric bypass surgery for weight loss and the placement of a LINX® device. LINX goes around your lower esophageal sphincter to add strength and prevent the contents of your stomach from flowing back up into your esophagus.

You don’t have to live with the persistent discomfort of acid reflux. Schedule a consultation today by calling the office of Michael Sutker, MD, PA, nearest you or by booking an appointment online.

Anti-Reflux Surgery in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

Heartburn or acid reflux is a significant problem for many people and can cause a significant decrease in your quality of life. Reflux may be caused be weakening of the valve at the top of the stomach or from a hiatal hernia. While many patient’s symptoms can be controlled with medications such as Ranitidine or Omeprazole, surgery may be indicated to permanently correct the problem. Pre-operative planning typically involves evaluation by a gastroenterologist. Testing may include pH studies to measure the amount of acid in the esophagus, manometry to measure the function of the esophagus, swallow studies to evaluate for a hiatal hernia, and an upper endoscopy (EGD) to evaluate for inflammation of the stomach and esophagus.



Anti-Reflux Procedure

Anti-reflux surgery involves creating a new valve at the top of the stomach to prevent the reflux of acid into the esophagus. There are three types of operations designed to prevent reflux. The traditional method is a fundoplication. Other options for anti-reflux surgery include placement of a Linx device or a gastric bypass for patients with obesity. Each of the surgeries has pros and cons, risks and benefits, and Dr. Sutker will help you determine the best option for you.


Anti-Reflux Recovery

Patients will expect to stay in the hospital 1-2 nights. Patients stay on a pureed or soft food diet for about 2-4 weeks to allow the inflammation from the surgery to subside. Once recovery is complete, you will be able to a normal diet without restriction.


LINX® Reflux Management System

Medications for GERD do not reduce reflux. They merely reduce the acidity of the reflux. Since they do not address the cause of GERD which is a weak sphincter muscle, they can’t prevent reflux. Approximately 40% of GERD sufferers continue to have symptoms while taking medications for heartburn. LINX® is a revolutionary solution for GERD proven to eliminate dependence on medication and improve quality of life. The beauty of this quarter-sized device is it does exactly what your failing LES (lower esophageal sphincter) is supposed to do — prevent stomach acid from entering your esophagus.


How Does it Work?

LINX® is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads connected by Titanium wires. LINX® is implanted around the weak esophageal sphincter, just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads keeps the weak esophageal sphincter closed to help prevent reflux. Swallowing forces the ring of beads to temporarily expand to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach. LINX® is implanted laparoscopically in a minimally invasive procedure that typically takes less than one hour. Patients generally go home within one day and are encouraged to return to a regular diet as soon as tolerated as directed by their physician.



LINX® is designed to start working the moment the device is implanted. Patients are usually able to return to non-strenuous activity within a couple of days. ​Unlike other procedures to treat reflux, LINX® is inserted around the outside of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and requires no alteration to the stomach. LINX® preserves normal physiological function, so you can belch or vomit as needed. The titanium beads open and close to let food down during meals and open and close to let food up if the need to vomit arises. 99% of patients report that bothersome regurgitation was eliminated after treatment with LINX®. 88% of LINX® patients also reported that heartburn had been eliminated after treatment, and 85 % of patients were free from dependence on daily reflux medication. The device will not affect airport security, and you can still have an MRI. LINX® is constructed with permanent magnets and titanium which means that LINX® is designed for a lifetime of relief.
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Nissen Fundoplication Anti-Reflux Surgery

Nissen fundoplication anti-reflux surgery involves creating a new valve at the top of the stomach to prevent the reflux of acid into the esophagus. Your surgeon accomplishes this new valve by wrapping the excess portion of the stomach around itself. This surgery will allow food to pass through the esophagus in the stomach but prevent acids from going up. Patients will expect to get significant relief immediately, and most patients can stop their anti-reflux medication. This procedure can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, either with traditional laparoscopy or with daVinci robotic assistance.

Patients will expect to stay in the hospital 1-2 nights. Patients remain on a liquid diet for 2 weeks and then a pureed or soft food diet for about 2-4 weeks to allow the inflammation from the surgery to subside. Once recovery is complete, you will be able to a normal diet without restriction.