Heartburn Patient Story: Tony Vincent
Army Sergeant Finds Relief at Heartburn Treatment Center
Tony Vincent couldn't seem to escape his heartburn. It was always with
him, no matter what he ate or didn't eat.
Vincent was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly
known as acid reflux. Medication didn't help, so the 27-year-old U.S.
Army sergeant looked for other options at the Heartburn Treatment Center
of Atlanta at Southern Regional Medical Center.
It is the only center of its kind in south metro Atlanta, offering comprehensive
care-from advanced diagnostics to minimally-invasive treatments.
The center's specialists recommended a minimally-invasive surgical
procedure for Vincent.
Performed through tiny incisions in the abdomen, it allows food to travel
down the esophagus to the stomach as it should. But it prevents acid from
coming back up into the esophagus, which is what causes GERD.
As soon as he came out of the anesthesia used during the one-hour procedure,
Vincent knew his heartburn was gone.
"I could tell the difference right away," he says. "And
I haven't had problems with any foods since."
Vincent is now living GERD-free. He says he is grateful for the help he
got from the Heartburn Treatment Center and its staff.
The treatment requires an overnight hospital stay and two to four weeks
of recovery at home, says Cheryl Upchurch, a registered nurse who is the
center's nurse coordinator.
Most patients never have heartburn again.
"Research has shown that the procedure has a 93 percent success rate
after both five and 10 years," Upchurch says. "It's certainly
made a world of difference for Tony."