Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / LPR / GERD Treatment
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as acid reflux,
is a chronic condition associated with frequent heartburn. GERD occurs
when acidic content from the stomach regurgitates, or refluxes, into the
esophagus, causing inflammation and damage to the lining of the esophagus.
The cause of GERD is unknown, but doctors believe it can be caused by
a number of factors, including abnormal movement in the lower esophageal
sphincter and a hiatal hernia. Heartburn, nausea, and difficulty swallowing
are common symptoms of GERD, while ulcers and asthma can also occur in
Some patients with GERD may also experience laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR),
which occurs as acid from the stomach rises to the esophagus and enters
the back of the throat. Patients suffering from LPR report a bitter taste
in their mouth and the feeling that something is caught in the back of
their throat. In some cases, LPR can also cause breathing difficulties.
While GERD and LPR are chronic conditions that cannot be cured, most of
the symptoms can treated to effectively reduce the severity and frequency.
Symptoms of GERD and LPR can often be treated through lifestyle changes
and medication. Surgery may be required for more severe cases. Our doctors
can determine the most effective treatment option for your LPR or GERD
symptoms at our office.
Laryngeal examination methods
Flexible fiber optic laryngoscopy
Flexible fiber optic laryngoscopy is a diagnostic examination performed
to view the throat and its surrounding structures. It is performed using
a thin, flexible endoscope attached to a fiber optic cable, which enables
the doctor to view a greater portion of the throat than possible through
other imaging examinations. During a flexible fiber optic laryngoscopy,
the endoscope is inserted into the patient’s nose and moved into
the throat. The patient stays awake, giving the doctor a more accurate
view of the vocal cords. After the examination, patients can immediately
resume their normal activities.
Rigid laryngoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that provides visual
access to the vocal cords in order to diagnose and treat conditions such
as hoarseness, weak voice, polyps, difficulty swallowing or laryngeal
cancer. During this procedure, a rigid fiber optic tube is inserted into
the throat to evaluate the area. This procedure is performed under general
anesthesia in our office. The fiber optic tube is inserted to evaluate
the area, and may remove a small tissue biopsy if needed. After this procedure,
patients may experience hoarseness and swelling, and should rest their
voice for a few days.
Digital laryngeal stroboscopy
Digital laryngeal stroboscopy is an advanced procedure performed to analyze
the motion of the vocal cord vibrations and identify any potential abnormalities
that may be causing hoarseness, sore throat or other symptoms. This procedure
may also be used to compare the appearance and movement of the vocal cords
before and after treatment for any detected problems.
This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in our office, and involves
inserting an endoscope through the nose and into the throat, where it
is lead to the vocal cords. The stroboscope technology used will capture
slow-motion images of the vocal cords while the patient speaks to provide
clear, informative photos of the rapidly moving structures, which can
be viewed in real-time by the doctor and patient.