Endoscopy Center – Torrance Digestive Disease Institute


Torrance Digestive Disease Institute

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  • Are you suffering from heartburn, dyspepsia and food intolerance?
  • Have you tried dietary modification or over the counter medications without improvement?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night with a burning sensation in your esophagus and stomach?
  • Do you want to avoid waiting months for an appointment?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you are in the right place! And more importantly, you are not alone!

I have often been asked “Doctor R! I don’t know what’s wrong and I have been to so many doctors! Can you help me?” and the answer is Yes! We CAN help!

Please take a few minutes to carefully read the Frequently Asked Questions below. It will help you understand the potential reasons behind your heartburn, reflux and other stomach issues and seek proper treatment.




Dr. R.

What is GERD?

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a chronic digestive disorder characterized by acid reflux and heartburn. GERD occurs when the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter, fails to close properly, allowing stomach acid and contents to flow back up into the esophagus.

The symptoms of GERD may include heartburn, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, chronic cough, hoarseness, or sore throat. These symptoms can occur on a regular basis and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.

GERD can be caused by a variety of factors, including obesity, pregnancy, hiatal hernia, smoking, and certain medications. Certain foods and drinks, such as fatty or fried foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol, can also worsen GERD symptoms.

Treatment for GERD may include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding trigger foods, and elevating the head of the bed. Medications, such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors, or H2 blockers, may also be used to reduce acid production and relieve symptoms. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent reflux.

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Causes of GERD

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest or throat that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. This condition is also known as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some common causes of heartburn include:

  • Eating large meals or eating too quickly
  • Consuming certain foods, such as spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, coffee, and citrus fruits
  • Drinking alcohol, carbonated beverages, or caffeine
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Pregnancy
  • Lying down or bending over after eating
  • Hiatal hernia, a condition where the upper part of the stomach protrudes into the chest through a small opening in the diaphragm.

Heartburn can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and some blood pressure medications. If you experience frequent or severe heartburn, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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What is an EGD?

An EGD, or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, is a type of endoscopy that allows doctors to examine the upper digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

During an EGD, a flexible tube with a light and camera at the end, called an endoscope, is inserted through the mouth and guided down the throat and into the digestive system. The camera transmits images to a screen, allowing the doctor to examine the lining of the digestive tract and identify any abnormalities or issues.

EGD is typically performed to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, such as ulcers, inflammation, tumors, or bleeding in the upper digestive tract. The procedure can also be used to take tissue samples for further testing or to perform certain treatments, such as removing polyps or stopping bleeding.

An EGD is usually performed on an outpatient basis under sedation, and patients are usually able to return home the same day. It is important to follow the preparation instructions provided by your doctor, which may include fasting and adjusting your medication regimen, to ensure the best possible results and minimize the risk of complications.

Why is it better to have an endoscopy by a GI surgeon?  

Both gastroenterologists and surgeons can perform endoscopy procedures. Gastroenterologists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system, while surgeons are physicians who specialize in performing surgical procedures. The choice of who should perform an endoscopy depends on several factors, such as the reason for the procedure, the patient’s medical history, and the availability of specialists in the area. In general, surgeons may be preferred for endoscopy procedures if:

  1. The patient has a complex medical history, such as prior abdominal surgery or other conditions that may affect the procedure or require surgical intervention.
  2. The endoscopy procedure is being done for a therapeutic purpose, such as removing polyps or treating bleeding, and the surgeon has the necessary training and expertise to perform the procedure.
  3. The patient requires a surgical procedure in addition to the endoscopy, such as a biopsy or tumor removal, and the surgeon can perform both procedures at the same time.
  4. Surgeons are viscerally familiar with the GI anatomy through many surgical procedures they have performed. Such experience helps surgeon to identify the anatomical issues such as hiatal hernias, reflux, etc during endoscopy more precisely.
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What is a Hiatal Hernia?

A hiatal hernia is a condition that occurs when a portion of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity and plays a key role in breathing.

There are two types of hiatal hernia: sliding and paraesophageal. Sliding hiatal hernias are the most common type and occur when the junction where the esophagus meets the stomach slides up into the chest through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm. Paraesophageal hiatal hernias occur when a portion of the stomach protrudes into the chest alongside the esophagus.

Hiatal hernias can be caused by a weakening of the muscles and tissue surrounding the hiatus. Risk factors for hiatal hernias include age, obesity, smoking, and chronic coughing. In many cases, hiatal hernias do not cause any symptoms and may be discovered incidentally during imaging tests for other conditions. However, some people with hiatal hernias may experience symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

Treatment for hiatal hernias may include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding large meals, and elevating the head of the bed. Medications, such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors, may also be used to relieve symptoms. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the hernia and prevent complications such as strangulation or obstruction. For more information about Hiatal Hernia please click here.

Our Advantage 

Our integrated practice and endoscopy center allows us to schedule your procedure quickly and conveniently. Our experienced surgeons, anesthesiologist and nurses provide excellent care in an accredited facility.

Same day appointment are available. Take advantage of our complimentary consultation with your PPO insurance.  

What if I need additional procedures? 

Discussing endoscopy findings with the patient is an important part of the diagnostic process, as it allows the patient to understand their condition and be involved in the treatment planning process. Our process for discussing endoscopy findings with the patient:

  1. We provide a clear and understandable explanation of the findings: It is important to use plain language and avoid medical jargon when discussing endoscopy findings with the patient. Explain what was found during the procedure and how it relates to the patient’s symptoms and overall health.
  2. We discuss the implications of the findings: If the endoscopy reveals a diagnosis or a condition that requires treatment, explain the implications of the findings and what the patient can expect in terms of symptoms, progression of the disease, and treatment options.
  3. We address the patient’s concerns and questions: Endoscopy findings can be concerning and may raise questions or anxieties in the patient. Encourage the patient to ask questions and address any concerns they may have about the findings, the procedure, or the treatment options.
  4. We provide education and resources: Provide the patient with educational resources, such as pamphlets or online resources, that can help them understand their condition and treatment options. Provide clear instructions on any follow-up tests or appointments that may be needed.
  5. We collaborate with the patient on treatment planning: Work with the patient to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their individual needs and preferences. Discuss the risks and benefits of different treatment options and involve the patient in the decision-making process.

Overall, discussing endoscopy findings with the patient requires clear communication, empathy, and collaboration between the medical provider and the patient. By working together, the patient can better understand their condition and take an active role in their treatment and care.

Where do I start?

Call us today at (310) 326-3075 or click below to schedule your same-day, telemedicine or in-person appointment. Our friendly team will walk you through A-Z in a hassle-free manner.

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Please fill in the form below or call (310) 326-3075 to schedule an appointment with one of our Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgeons to discuss your options: