If you suffer from chronic heartburn from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a new, non-invasive surgery might offer relief, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

EsophyX Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication is only performed at a handful of hospitals throughout the country, but the technique allows surgeons to introduce the surgical instruments through the mouth instead of cutting open the abdomen.

This reduces the risk of infection, preserves future treatment options and nearly eliminates pain, Dr. Shawn Garber, head of the New York Bariatric Group at Mercy Medical Center, said in a news release.

More than five percent of people in Western countries suffer from heartburn on a daily basis.

If you have heartburn at least twice a week over a six-month period, this is one indication of GERD, which is a condition caused by excess stomach acid backing up into the esophagus because the muscular valve at its bottom does not close properly.

Medications and lifestyle changes can alleviate symptoms of GERD, but surgery may be necessary to stop the progression of the condition.

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