How is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) treated in young patients?

Updated: May 23, 2019
  • Author: Marco G Patti, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Most cases of gastroesophageal reflux in infants and very young children are benign and respond to conservative nonpharmacologic treatment (developmental disabilities represent an important diagnostic exception); 80% resolve by age 18 months (55% resolve by age 10 mo). Some patients require a "step-up" to acid-reducing medications, and only a very small minority require surgery. Because symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux after age 18 months likely represents a chronic condition, long-term risks are increased. For patients whose gastroesophageal reflux persists into later childhood, long-term therapy with antisecretory agents is often required.


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