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Colic: Medication

Antacids

For cases of GERD, the pediatrician may prescribe an antacid like Zantac or Prilosec to block the production of acids in the stomach. Certain antacids like Maalox or Mylanta can be harmful, however, if used for a long time because they contain aluminum that may affect bone mineralization.   Anti-diarrheals such as Imodium can be dangerous because of increased exposure to bacterial toxins. Never administer anything unless under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Surgery

In exceptional cases of reflux -- in which, for example, your child is not gaining weight due to vomiting, has frequent respiratory problems like recurring pneumonia, or has severe irritation in the esophagus -- the doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called fundoplication, in which the upper curve of the stomach (the fundus) is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn into place so that the lower portion of the esophagus passes through a small tunnel of stomach muscle. This surgery strengthens the valve between the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter), which stops acid from backing up into the esophagus as easily. This procedure is done either laparoscopically or by open incision. With minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, pain is minimized and the recovery time is faster after surgery. Small incisions are made in the abdomen, and a tube with a camera on the end is placed into one of the incisions to look inside. The surgical instruments are placed through the other incisions while the surgeon looks at a video monitor to see the stomach and other organs. The top portion of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus, creating a tight band that greatly decreases reflux. Complications can include an inability to vomit, which is managed with anti-reflux meds.

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