Risks of Untreated Acid Reflux/GERD

About the Author

Dr Rajkumar JS


Dr JS Rajkumar is the Chief Surgeon with LIMA.

Acid Reflux or GERD is a well understood disease with a good range of well established treatment options available. All these treatment options have no or sparse side effects. However, the more time you take to attend to it, it marches on unrelentingly to become worse news and then to become the worst news.

If untreated, acid reflux/GERD takes following course of development:

1st stage of untreated acid reflux/GERD: Esophagitis

Everyone gets reflux. It becomes a disease to be treated only if when the frequency of its occurrence increases. After frequent acid reflux starts taking place, the inner wall of the esophagus becomes inflamed and the condition is called esophagitis (itis = inflammation).

If your doctor inserts an endoscopic camera inside your esophagus, they can see the inflammation and reddening of the inner wall. This is the first sign that you better be treating your disease without further delay.

2nd stage of untreated acid reflux/GERD: Esophageal Stricture

With continuous (chronic) exposure of esophagus to the stomach acid, followed by chronic inflammation, scar tissue can form in the esophagus, narrowing the esophagus and making the swallowing difficult. Strictures can also result pulmonary aspiration, a condition in which food, drink, vomit, etc., accidentally enter the lungs.

3nd stage of untreated acid reflux/GERD: Ulcer of the Esophagus and/or Mouth/Throat

If acid reflux continues untreated, it may lead to ulcer of the esophagus and/or mouth/throat <more details>.

<even after treating the ulcer, it never becomes good as new>

4rd stage of untreated acid reflux/GERD: Barrett’s Esophagus

If the acid reflux/GERD continues to remain untreated, the flat and squamous (scale like) cells in the epithelium (inner surface of the esophagus) becomes tall and columnar.
This is a pre-malignant condition.

Last stage of untreated acid reflux/GERD: Cancer

Up to 8% of the patients with Barrett’s go on to develop a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma <internal link to adenocarcinoma page> (cancer of the mucus secreting glands in the inner surface of the esophagus).

Unfortunately, the occurrence of adenocarcinoma is rising <link to the reference> so high that it is said to be the fastest growing cancer in the world. Increasing incidence of acid reflux disease may well account for this.

GERD/LPR Expertise at LIMA

  • Our Chief Surgeon Dr. J. S. Rajkumar had authored a text book titled Modern Methods for Managing Acid Reflux/GERD. All the knowledge he used in writing this textbook are now incorporated in LIMA’s practice.
  • LIMA has all the instrumentation needed to accurately investigate and assess how mild or severe your acid reflux is
  • LIMA consultants offers the full range of Acid Reflux/GERD treatment, including
    • Behavior modification experts to help you with lifestyle changes
    • Registered dieticians to help you with a suitable diet selection
    • Functional medicine doctors to help you with nutritional support
    • Gastroenterologists to help you with medical protocol
    • The surgical group that has handled more volume than anyone else in South India

If the nature of your GERD is such that it doesn’t respond satisfactorily for lifestyle, dietary or medical interventions, then a surgical solution is your best option. If you select surgery, LIMA can give you “unparalleled advantage”:

  • Till date, we have carried out more than 2,000+ fundoplication surgeries. This is the largest volume handled by any single surgical team in South India.
  • LIMA is the only center in the Chennai where you can get the surgery done through a Scarless procedure.
  • LIMA subsidiary, MISTY, has trained largest number of surgeons in the country for
  • Currently, Dr. J. S. Rajkumar is co-authoring the first and only manual for laparoscopic surgery (14 volumes)


Listen to some of our real patients who received acid reflux/GERD treatment at LIMA:

Testimonial Videos

Even more Education

If you have read this far, we must congratulate you. You have taken your first step towards becoming an intelligent and informed patient. Very few patients have so much of dedication or put in the necessary efforts to empower themselves with the right kind of knowledge. Here are a few things you can do to further your knowledge:

  • Enroll yourself in our free newsletter about Acid Reflux/GERD management
  • Download our free ebook on Acid Reflux/GERD
  • Download our free ebook on Indian diets for GERD
  • LIKE our Facebook page on Acid Reflux/GERD to receive daily updates on this disease
  • LIKE our LIMA Facebook page to updates on other cutting edge treatments available only at LIM

Meet a Doctor

Do you think you have some of the symptoms described here. Fix an appointment with a LIMA doctor and get a thorough investigation. Unlike other chronic diseases, GERD can be easily treated if you catch it before it turns malignant.

Free eBook on GERD

Do you or someone you love has GERD (Acid Reflux). Download our free eBook specially prepared for the Indian patient, written by highly accomplished Indian surgeons, who have published several books for the international audience.

Knowledge base discussions

Go to the GERD/Acid Reflux page on our forum. Questions that patients like you asked and answers they received from LIMA or from other patients are permanently here, just frozen in time, waiting for you to benefit from the collective wisdom.