First Heartburn Center Opens in Syracuse

Syracuse, NY  – St. Joseph’s Health has announced the official opening of The Heartburn Center at St. Joseph’s, the first dedicated and comprehensive heartburn treatment center in the greater Syracuse region. This new Center is located at Specialty Services inside the Hospital.

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, studies suggest that approximately one-third of the U.S. population has Gastroesophageal Disease (GERD).  It affects one in five adults and more than 20 million people in the U.S. are currently taking medications for reflux.

“Reflux is one of the fastest growing disease conditions in the United States,” said Atul Maini, MD, surgeon with St. Joseph’s Health. “Until now, patients who suffer from heartburn may have gone to their primary care physicians or a gastroenterologist for treatment, or they may have tried to self-medicate with over-the-counter remedies that may not solve the underlying problem or may cause some serious side effects.”

General Surgeons, Dr. Atul Maini (far left) and Dr. Balasubraman Sivakumar (far right) alongside Gastroenterologist, Dr. Buniak and Dr. Sun

The comprehensive, specialized care is available for any individual suffering from any degree of heartburn, from occasional minor discomfort to those needing surgery. The Heartburn Center provides one-stop care with a full team of physician-experts, including a gastroenterologist, robotics surgeon, bariatric surgeon, pulmonologist, dieticians, and even psychology care providers – who work together to address the disease, not just the symptoms.

The Heartburn Center at St. Joseph’s Health also offers some of the latest technology for treatment options, and is the only facility in Central New York to offer the LINX implant procedure for heartburn treatment. The LINX implant is placed at the bottom of the esophagus to help strengthen the valve between the esophagus and stomach, and stop acid from backing up into the esophagus as easily.

LINX Implant actual size

The implant is about the size of a quarter, inserted through minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, and most patients are able to return to normal eating and activity within a couple of days.

The LINX device consists of a series of titanium beads, each containing a magnetic core connected with independent titanium wires that allows the expansion of the wires. This design preserves the ability to belch, vomit, and is removable – which allows for future treatment options, such as fundoplication.

The Heartburn Center will also offer the latest robotic surgery technologies, which are being used in many other areas of St. Joseph’s care including nissen fundoplication and ultimately LINX.

For more information about the Heartburn Center at St. Joseph’s call 1-866-HRT-BURN.