UC Davis Health expands acid reflux testing

Surgery Foregut & Esophageal Motility Center offers comprehensive testing for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD


Acid reflux is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, affecting about 1 in 5 Americans.

Victoria Lyo
Dr. Victoria Lyo

To streamline care for people who suffer from acid reflux – also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – UC Davis Health has added a testing location within the Department of Surgery to more quickly bring relief to those with the chronic condition.

GERD is caused when gastric acid from the stomach flows back up into the food pipe, or esophagus, which results in heartburn, vomiting and other uncomfortable complications.

The initiative to expand to an additional treatment location led to the creation of the Surgery Foregut & Esophageal Motility Center. This center resides within the Foregut, Metabolic & General Surgery division of the Department of Surgery.

The center offers comprehensive workup and surgical treatment for GERD, including:  

  • Esophageal manometry/motility to assesses the movement and pressure in the esophagus
  • 24-hour pH Acid Testing to measure how much acid reflux is occurring
  • Upper Endoscopy to look inside the esophagus and stomach
  • Barium Esophagram or Upper GI X-Ray test to evaluate the gastrointestinal anatomy
  • Minimally invasive anti-reflux surgery

“These types of tests provide the physiologic measure of patients’ esophageal disease, whether that’s GERD or motility problems,” explained Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery Victoria Lyo. “In order to plan for surgery properly and better diagnose the issue, patients generally need two to four different types of tests in order for us to fully evaluate their anatomy and see how surgery can help them. After we do testing, we can discuss optimal treatment options for patients.”

GERD is typically managed by primary care doctors and medications. Patients who find that medications are no longer sufficient to provide relief may be referred to a gastrointestinal specialist. The GI doctor can then refer them to GERD testing and eventually surgery, if needed.

But now, with the creation of the Surgery Foregut & Esophageal Motility Center, patients can now go to the new GERD testing site at the UC Davis Medical Center Cypress Surgery Clinic and possibly discuss surgical treatments of GERD. The clinic is located at 2221 Stockton Blvd. in Sacramento.

The other testing locations are located in the Gastroenterology and Otolaryngology departments.

Lyo leads this new program with the support of Mohamed Ali, the Foregut, Metabolic and General Surgery division chief. For questions or additional information contact Lyo at vlyo@ucdavis.edu.