Do you need acid reflux surgery?

If you are suffering from chronic acid reflux or GERD, you are not alone. It is documented that one out of every ten Americans will suffer from heartburn on a regular basis. Most of these sufferers have the problems they do because of Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Another name for this is simply acid reflux. There is a new technology now that can correct the problem of GERD in a fairly non-invasive way. The problem that usually causes acid reflux or heartburn is the valve that is located between the stomach and the diaphragm.

The standard treatment for GERD is fundoplication, which has a double goal. After the acid reflux surgery, the LES pressure should increase, and also to repair any hiatal hernias that may be present. This procedure can be done in a couple different ways. One is called the Open Nissen fundoplication and the other is called the laparoscopic fundoplication. The first procedure, Open Nissen Fundoplication is the most invasive. Both these procedures can benefit the patient long-term from the symptoms and complications of acid reflux.

Limitations and Problems with Acid Reflux Surgery

There are limitations however as well as post-operative problems. An example of this is that 18% of patients would still require to take their anti-GERD medications and about 38% of patients will have new symptoms such as gas, bloating, and trouble swallowing. It is important that fundoplication does not cure acid reflux. Evidence also shows that the procedure does not lower the risks for esophageal cancer in the high risk patients.

If you would like to check further into having your acid reflux corrected through a surgical procedure, Fundoplication is recommended for those patients whose condition may include an inflamed esophagus, symptoms that are chronic, strictures, or a failure to gain or maintain their weight, especially in children. Fundoplication also doesn't benefit patients who have an inability to move their muscles spontaneously.

The Procedure for Acid Reflux Surgery

The procedure is completed by the physician where he wraps the upper part of the stomach around the esophagus making a sort of collar. This collar places the needed pressure on the LES and prevents acids from backing up into the esophagus. Open fundoplicatoin also will require at least a six to ten day hospital stay.

This procedure has been replaced in many areas by the less invasive laparoscopic fundoplication. This is done through tiny incisions that have been made in the abdomen. Once the incisions are made a small instrument with a small camera attached is inserted through tubes which allow the surgeon to view the area. The surgeon will then create the same collar-type area around the esophagus.

Checking with your doctor before you think about acid reflux surgery so he can give you more information. Also, consider learning more about acid reflux foods to avoid before having surgery.