Acid Reflux Surgery

Acid Reflux Surgery

Acid reflux surgery takes place after all other treatments have failed because as with any surgery there are risks though they are rare. Surgery should not be taken lightly. You should discuss all other treatments before deciding on surgery.
The cause of acid reflux for many people is the LES. This is the lower esophageal sphincter valve at the end of the esophagus. This valve is a tight muscle that remains closed until food is passed through into your stomach. Once the food has passed through the valve should close tightly again. In many cases this does not happen which allows for acid to travel up into the esophagus causing damage over long periods of time. This is why surgery is necessary for some people who cannot find help through medication.
This surgery is a laparoscopic surgery where they will enter through the bellybutton. They will make several more small incisions to allow for all the tools necessary to complete the surgery. This surgery is not recommended for everyone. Some people who have shortened esophagus due to prolonged exposure to acid reflux and those with esophageal cancer as well as those who are extremely obese.
The surgery is called fundoplication. This simply means to wrap or fold which is exactly what the surgeon will be doing. During the surgery the surgeon with take a portion of the upper stomach and wrap it around the esophagus. This creates pressure on the valve and will help it remain closed. This will also help strengthen the valve muscles. First the patient will placed under general anesthesia, and then the surgeon will fill the abdomen with gas through a small incision made at the naval. A small laparoscope which is small camera will be inserted so that the surgeon can see the stomach. There will be four more small incisions that will be made for the tools that will work like the surgeons hands. This will allow the surgeon to suture the stomach to the esophagus. This is typically an outpatient surgery.
The patient is started on clear liquids for the first day. It is recommended to eat a soft diet for the first two weeks. You must remember that your stomach will be smaller now and you will want to eat small frequent meals instead of larger meals. Some weight loss is also a side effect due to diet changes.