Heartburn Care Center Launched

BRUNSWICK, Georgia: June 9, 2008 – Southeast Georgia Health System has collaborated with Legato Medical Systems™ to open the new Heartburn Care Center (HCC)—the only such center within a 100 mile radius of Brunswick. Legato affiliates with local medical communities to establish exclusive heartburn centers that identify and treat patients suffering from heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

The HCC is located on the first floor of the Outpatient Care Center and officially opened June 2. The Center provides patients with the latest in anti-reflux surgical techniques and heartburn treatments with a multi-disciplinary approach that treats the patient as a whole, not just the symptoms. Members of the Center’s specialized medical team include gastroenterologists Huitt Mattox III, MD, and David Whitehead, MD, surgeons Vincent Arlauskas, MD, Stephen Barrett, MD, Peter Henderson Jr., MD, and Harold Kent, MD, and Jacquelyn Bridges, RN, the Center’s nurse coordinator.

“Having the Center means patients can now have all of their testing and treatment, including surgery if necessary, right here at home. Before, we would have to send patients to Savannah for some tests,” Whitehead says. “Now we can offer newer, more sensitive testing for reflux disease, namely manometry which gives us a very detailed picture of how the esophagus is functioning, as well as pH testing which clarifies whether someone is experiencing pain from the reflux of acid or there is some other issue at hand.”

More than 60 million American adults suffer from occasional heartburn, while about 10% experience it daily. Heartburn, chest pain and regurgitation are the most common symptoms of GERD, which results from stomach acid “backing up” into the esophagus. GERD can be caused by a number of problems, including a malfunctioning of the valve located between the stomach and esophagus allowing this acid “back up” to occur. GERD is also associated with the development of esophageal cancer.

“We will be working one-on-one with patients through consultations, evaluations, and treatment,” Bridges says. “Not every treatment option fits everyone and we want patients to know that there are a variety of treatment options available.”

For more information or to make an appointment at the Heartburn Care Center, contact Bridges at (912) 466-4070 or jbridge@sghs.org.