FOR RELEASE: 3/2/2012Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Bridgeport Hospital doctors to discuss heartburn/GERD treatments during free lecture in Trumbull March 29

Bridgeport Hospital Chief of Gastroenterology George Abdelsayed, MD, FACP, FACG, gastroenterologist Andrew Bedford, MD and general surgeon Elizabeth Honigsberg, MD, will discuss the causes of and treatments for heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Barrett’s esophagus during a free lecture, Thursday, March 29, 7:00 p.m., at the Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley Lane. Reservations are required. Call toll free 1-888-357-2396.

Bill Haberlin of Trumbull suffered from GERD, also known as acid reflux. He experienced heartburn—a burning feeling in the chest behind the breastbone—after every meal. This was sometimes accompanied by a sour taste and burning sensation in his throat. These symptoms were caused by acid that traveled in the wrong direction—from Bill’s stomach back up into his esophagus. Bill’s GERD was treated with medication and his esophagus was monitored with regular endoscopies.

Eventually, Bill developed Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which the cells lining the esophagus are destroyed and replaced by cells that can lead to esophageal cancer. Approximately one in 200 people develop esophageal cancer each year. Until recently, the only treatment for the condition was the surgical removal of the esophagus, which seriously affects the patient’s diet and quality of life.

However, a procedure known as radiofrequency ablation—first performed at Bridgeport Hospital by Dr. Bedford in 2008—destroys nearly all of the pre-cancerous tissue in the esophagus before cancer develops.

“For about a week, it hurt to swallow,” Bill recalls, but I was back at work the very next day after the procedure.”

Now 64, Bill says his esophagus is completely covered in healthy tissue. “One hundred percent clean,” he says. “And I haven’t had a hint of heartburn since my procedure.”

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.