Huntington Beach resident Edward Soria, 68, was among the 20 percent of Americans that frequently struggle with heartburn and acid reflux¹. After months of using over-the-counter medication in an attempt to ease his symptoms, he consulted with his primary care physician. Edward learned he had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and was prescribed stronger antacids as well as proton pump inhibitors, which reduce stomach acid production.

After several years of trying to manage his symptoms with medication and other methods, like eating well and sleeping in an upright position, his condition only worsened. Edward consulted with Atif Iqbal, M.D., F.A.C.S, F.A.S.M.B.S., medical director of the Digestive Care Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. Board-certified and fellowship-trained, Dr. Iqbal specializes in minimally invasive bariatric procedures and digestive disorder surgeries.

“If acid indigestion happens occasionally, over-the-counter medications can help. However, if it happens more often, I discourage self-treatment,” said Dr. Iqbal. “If left untreated, the constant backflow of acid can cause chronic inflammation in the lining of the esophagus, which may eventually lead to esophageal cancer. Edward did the right thing by scheduling a consultation and getting a proper diagnosis, allowing us to treat the root issue.”

I could not be more grateful for Dr. Iqbal and the team at the Digestive Care Center. Feeling as well as I do, Dr. Iqbal also inspired me to continue to live an overall healthier lifestyle, from dietary choices to my exercise routine. My quality of life has vastly improved!

Edward Soria

In most cases, severe GERD is caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a circular bundle of muscles that control the flow of food and liquid from the esophagus to the stomach. To pinpoint the source of Edward’s condition, Dr. Iqbal reviewed Edward’s endoscopy and X-rays of his upper gastrointestinal tract. He then monitored the pH levels in Edward’s esophagus for 48 hours with a Bravo™ capsule test and found that he had severe GERD and a moderate hiatal hernia.

On Nov. 10, 2020, Dr. Iqbal performed a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery on Edward, a minimally invasive procedure that treats severe GERD and hiatal hernia. During surgery, the top part of the stomach is gently moved back into the abdominal cavity. The stomach is then wrapped around the esophagus, which supports the weak LES and prevents the backflow of acid.

To learn more about gastroesophageal reflux disease, please click here, or click here to listen to a podcast by Dr. Iqbal.

1.  “Acid Reflux.” American College of Gastroenterology.

The Digestive Care Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center

Made of a multidisciplinary team of expert gastroenterologists and surgeons, the Digestive Care Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center offers a comprehensive program for the diagnosis and treatment of GERD, motility disorders, and benign and cancerous diseases of the upper gastrointestinal system – the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the entrance of the small intestine that connects to the stomach).

“GERD is one of many issues we treat at the Digestive Care Center,” Dr. Iqbal said. “We have leading-edge equipment for diagnosis and treatment, and our team of experts has extensive experience in pathology, including very complicated esophageal and stomach conditions.”

With the LINX® Reflux Management System – which strengthens a weak LES through the implementation of a small ring of magnetic spheres – state-of-the-art technology like the da Vinci® robotic-assisted surgical system, and a multidisciplinary team of experts, the Digestive Care Center treats a wide array of digestive needs.

To learn more or to make an appointment at the Digestive Care Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, please click here or call (714) 378-7664.