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Rita Oaks – Reflux Care

Rita Oaks, a business development consultant who lives in Duluth, learned of expert reflux and heartburn care at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin at a seminar sponsored by the Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center.  She shares her success story on innovative treatment that has made a world of difference in her quality of life and what she can do without any more pain.

 “I had struggled with acid reflux for many years and my symptoms really got worse over the past 10 years. Lifestyle issues such as frequent national travel and job stress contributed to my GERD issues. I was an all-day refluxer, taking an antacid and two Alka Seltzer daily. In addition, I carried Rolaids in all my things—nightstand, purse and desk. Every swallow of food I took was painful.

After attending the Reflux and Heartburn Solutions seminar, I called Riverwood for an appointment with a reflux specialist. From the first conversation with Dawn Harcey, Clinical Coordinator for the Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center at Riverwood, I had a great patient experience. She was so kind, helpful and knowledgeable. When I call her, I get quick answers to my questions and she consults my doctor for his opinion on my health concerns.

I went through a series of diagnostic tests—EGD, tissue biopsy, Bravo pH monitoring, and manometry—and it was such a relief to find out I did not have esophageal cancer or the precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.

Last fall, I had a LINX procedure, where a small flexible bracelet of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores was implanted around my lower esophageal sphincter. At the same time, the surgeon repaired my hiatal hernia, another contributor to my acid reflux.

It’s an incredible feeling when you realize you can do simple daily activities without acid reflux—tying my tennis shoes, sleeping on my side again. I had another Bravo test recently, and I don’t have any acid reflux today!

I’ve never had healthcare where the staff is so caring! Through my multiple appointments and care at Riverwood, I got friendly greetings from every person I encountered, from the surgery and endoscopy team to food service workers and the clinic greeter who remembered my name.

I owe a lot to the Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center at Riverwood for making my life so much better. I can truly say the 85-mile drive from Duluth to Aitkin is well worth it for great healthcare.”


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