Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: Use of algorithms to aid in management
Effective treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease demands an awareness of several factors: the disease spectrum, its varied symptom presentation, and potential complications; when to refer to a gastroenterologist or surgeon; and the various treatment options available. By taking these factors into consideration, algorithms can provide a useful framework within which clinicians can approach decision making regarding management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. As such, algorithms can be a good clinical tool for meeting the goals of effective disease management. Presented below are treatment algorithms for the primary care physician, gastroenterologist, and surgeon. Improved understanding of these algorithms can assist clinicians in the care of patients with this common disease.