You are in the right place. Just don't be rushed into surgery or think that is the cure. While a lot of us have had very good results with surgery, we've also tried everything else in the book first and suffered for years before going with this last resort. Many people still need acid reducers even after surgery. I lived quite well for 25 years with just acid reducers.
First you need to see a really good GI specialist and get tested (many of you already have) to see if you really do have GERD, and how bad it is, have the complications checked out.
Since acid reducers do not cure reflux, only reduce the acid which causes the damage to the esophagus, you need to figure out if you have triggers while upright or only leaking of acid while you are lying down. Do you have symptoms of stomach doing the cha-cha in the daytime? That's the reflux I'm talking about.
A very good way to find if you have specific triggers, which will probably not be mentioned by your GI doc, is to keep a food log/journal, with your symptoms an hour and two hours after you eat. If you identify certain meals you should then break down the components and do a "challenge test." That's easy too: Just eat a bite or a swallow of the possible offending food (like a bite of bread or a sip of milk), wait 20 minutes. If you have symptoms write them down. If not try 2 bites, wait 20 minutes. You go up by doubling 1,2,4,8,and finally 16 bites.
Once you have your list you can try to figure out if they have something in common. My list was really weird, or so I thought:
Bagels, commercial Bread
Bottled Juices – especially containing grape, lemon or lime juice
Brown Sugar, White Beet Sugar (all brands not labeled cane)
Canned Soup, except Progresso Light Chicken Noodle or Beef
Cheese, especially hard cheeses
Chocolate, especially dark
cookies, especially chocolate chip
Corn Starch (fillers in gravy, pie filling, some medications)
Corn Syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin
Dried Fruits – except prunes
Eggs, if more than 1
French Fries, packaged mashed potatoes – no reflux with fresh potatoes
Ice cream, Sherbet
Jams and Jellies (pectin) – no reflux with the raw fruits
Milk, powdered – used as filler in “all milk” yogurt and some skim milk
Mixed Spices, especially with pepper
Packaged, Cooked Meats
Pizza (crust, cheese, sauce, toppings)
Puddings, Pumpkin Pie
Sodas (more than 1 cup)
Tea and Herbal Tea (few brands)
Tuna, some brands, canned – containing soy
Yogurt (more than 1 cup) especially low fat varieties (powdered milk added)
I was able to search them and found they all have SULFITE in common. Other people have different triggers.
By eliminating, for the most part, my triggers, I also eliminated most of my reflux. My GI doc probably still doesn't believe it, but I have read quite a number of scientific papers because my reflux also triggered tachycardia - a syndrome called cardio-esophageal reflex (not reflux).
I had to have surgery because an accident caused my stomach to be pushed up into my chest. Since I had a really bad LES I got "the wrap" and now don't have to take acid reducers. But I'm not recommending surgery unless you can't control your GERD any other way.