Tony Vincent

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."