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Esophageal and Reflux Center

Esophageal and Reflux Center

Conditions We Treat and Therapies Offered

The Esophageal and Reflux Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating esophageal issues, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and related disorders. We are a leader in state-of-the-art therapies for the following:


  • Achalasia is a rare disorder that occurs when nerves in the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus) become damaged. As a result, the esophagus loses the ability to squeeze food down, and the muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter) doesn't fully relax — making it difficult for food to pass into your stomach.
  • Achalasia treatment focuses on relaxing or dilating the lower esophageal sphincter so that food and liquid can move more easily through your digestive tract. Surgical and medicinal therapy options are available.

Barrett's Esophagus

  • Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of GERD that causes erosions in the esophagus and can lead to esophageal cancer.
  • Endoscopic therapies such as resection or ablation (radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation) are highly successful minimally invasive non-surgical treatments that can eradicate Barrett’s esophagus and prevent cancer.

Esophageal Cancer

  • Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus and can occur anywhere along the esophagus.
  • Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Incidence rates vary within different geographic locations. In some regions, higher rates of esophageal cancer cases may be attributed to tobacco and alcohol use or particular nutritional habits and obesity.
  • The Esophageal and Reflux Center offers cutting-edge ablation therapies, surgery and radiation oncology treatment options.
  • Esophagectomy 
    • A surgical procedure to remove part of the tube between your mouth and stomach (esophagus) and then reconstruct it using some or all of another organ, usually the stomach. Esophagectomy is a common treatment for advanced esophageal cancer, and is used occasionally for Barrett's esophagus if aggressive precancerous cells are present.

Esophageal Dilation

  • The most common cause of narrowing of the esophagus is scarring of the esophagus from reflux of stomach acid occurring in patients with heartburn. Patients with a narrowed portion of the esophagus often have trouble swallowing; food feels like it is “stuck” in the chest region, causing discomfort or pain.
  • Esophageal dilation is a procedure that allows our doctors to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of a patient's esophagus. Our experts can use various techniques for this procedure including performing the procedure as part of a sedated endoscopy. Alternatively, local anesthetic spray can be applied to the back of a patients throat and then a weighted dilator is passed through the mouth and into the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)

  • GERD occurs when the gastric contents of the stomach move up into the esophagus, causing heartburn, regurgitation, chest and back pain, difficulty swallowing and other symptoms related to the throat, larynx or lungs. Symptoms are often frequent or severe and lead to injury.
  • Going beyond simple medical therapies, The Esophageal and Reflux Center treats GERD that is considered refractory, meaning it is unresponsive or not fully responsive to proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs. We also treat patients who are PPI-responsive but averse, meaning PPI drugs are effective, but the patient doesn’t want to continue taking them for various reasons.

Hiatal Hernia

  • A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). Your diaphragm has a small opening through which your esophagus passes before connecting to your stomach. In a hiatal hernia, the stomach pushes up through that opening and into your chest.
  • Patients with hiatal hernias are predisposed to - reflux because the top of the stomach can prolapse into the chest, bathing the esophagus with stomach acid. The Esophageal and Reflux Center offers both endoscopic and surgical treatments for these types of hernias.

Swallowing Disorders/Dysphagia

  • A swallowing disorder, known as dysphagia, may occur as a result of various medical conditions. Dysphagia is defined as problems involving the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, or gastroesophageal junction.
  • Surgical and medicinal therapy options are available.

When a disorder of the esophagus occurs, it can cause a variety of complex problems that may affect our ability to eat, swallow, breathe or speak. Organs such as our lungs, ears or sinuses may also be affected.

For all these reasons, the Good Samaritan Hospital Esophageal and Reflux Center uses a multidisciplinary team approach to collaborate on each patient's case ensuring that they are thoroughly evaluated and receive the most accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plans.

Our Physicians  

Mark E. Ginsburg, MD, Section Chief, Thoracic Surgery, Good Samaritan Hospital

Board Certifications

  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery

Specialties: Esophageal Cancer, Pediatric Thoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Surgery, General, Lung Cancer, Cancer Care


Stephen Goodman, MD, Co-Director, Esophageal and Reflux Center, Good Samaritan Hospital

Board Certification

  • Gastroenterology

Specialties:  General Gastroenterology, Advanced Endoscopic Interventional Gastroenterology, digestive disorders, such as reflux, stomach pain, ulcers, and Crohn's disease.

Vipul Shah, MD, Co-Director, Esophageal and Reflux Center, Good Samaritan Hospital 

Board Certification

  • Gastroenterology

Specialties:  General Gastroenterology, Advanced Endoscopic Interventional Gastroenterology, digestive disorders, such as reflux, stomach pain, ulcers, and Crohn's disease.