Surgeons, gastroenterologists and otolaryngologists work with radiologists, pathologists and nurses to provide a thorough assessment, accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment to each patient.
The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center provides personalized treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), its complications and related disorders. We help people who tried over-the-counter and prescription medications and lifestyle changes find more permanent GERD symptom relief.
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Why Choose Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center
Our specialists are leaders in research on endoscopic therapies and new treatments for GERD, offering patients access to the latest and most advanced endoscopic and surgical treatments and clinical trials.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication
We were the first center in Maryland offering endoscopic transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF), a minimally invasive, effective procedure to treats chronic acid reflux without surgery or medications.
Patient StoriesPlay Video:
Barrett's Esophagus and Esophageal Cancer | Tom's Story
TIF Procedure for GERD | Frank's Story
Our team uses a variety of tests and technologies to diagnose the cause of heartburn and related discomfort, including:
Conditions We Treat and Treatments We Offer
Our team is skilled in a variety of incisionless and surgical approaches to treating GERD and related conditions.
We offer treatments for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease who don’t see desired effect from or do not wish to continue taking proton pump inhibitor drugs.
- Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF)
- Endoscopic cardia ligation endoscopic anti-reflux (CLEAR) procedure
- Magnetic sphincter augmentation (LINX) procedure
- Weight loss therapies for bariatric patients with GERD, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty and vertical sleeve gastrectomy with hiatal hernia repair.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD) is a type of GERD that causes acid reflux, sore throat, the sensation of mucus or phlegm and other symptoms.
Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of GERD that can lead to esophageal cancer. We offer:
- Endoscopic resection
- Radiofrequency ablation and cryoballoon ablation
- Argon plasma coagulation
- Minimally invasive esophagectomy/gastrectomy (removing part of the esophagus and/or stomach)
Hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes up into the chest through the diaphragm, increasing the risk of acid reflux. We offer:
- TIF, including TIF with laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair (cTIF)
- Nissen and partial fundoplication. Nissen fundoplication does not offer the desired symptom relief for up to 20 percent of patients, and repeating it doesn’t usually help. We recommend the TIF procedure for patients who had a failed Nissen procedure and whose hernia didn’t come back.
Paraesophageal hernia occurs when a larger part of the stomach slips into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm. These hernias often need surgical repair.
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) can have many causes, including narrowing of the esophagus, poor function of the muscles or an allergic condition. We work closely with specialists in allergy and immunology to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include:
Esophageal diverticulum (such as Zenker’s diverticulum) is a pouch in the esophagus that traps food. Our specialist can treat it with:
- Esophageal diverticulectomy (surgical removal of the pouch)
- Minimally-invasive outpatient endoscopic procedures
Research and Clinical Trials
The Heartburn Center is conducting research and clinical trials to evaluate current and new therapies for GERD. The research is led by Marcia Canto, M.D., director of clinical research for the division of gastroenterology. Our areas of research include:
- Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF)
- TIF Registry: a multicenter American prospective cohort aimed to assess short- and long-term results of TIF/cTIF
- Comparison of endoscopic and surgical fundoplication
- TIF for people who had a successful endoscopic ablation of Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia
- Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD)
- Post-POEM GERD
- Rescue TIF after failed surgical fundoplication (Nissen, Toupet) or Stretta
- TIF for proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-averse or -intolerant patients not interested in life-long medical therapy
- Endoscopic cryoballoon ablation for Barrett’s esophagus
- Diagnostic tools for digestive diseases
- Comparison of medical and endoscopic therapies for eosinophilic esophagitis
- GERD in bariatric patients