Treatment for Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, is a condition where food or stomach acid travels back up from the stomach into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in the throat or chest. People may also experience excessive burping, trouble swallowing or regurgitation.

Surgery may be needed when lifestyle changes and antacid medications are not successful at controlling symptoms and relieving esophageal inflammation.

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How the Procedure Is Performed

Laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, anti-reflux surgery involves reinforcement of the dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Minimally invasive surgery may result in less pain, less blood loss, and a shorter recovery.*

Five small incisions are made and a laparoscope or robotic endoscope and long thin instruments are inserted through the incisions. The laparoscope has a camera that the surgeon uses to better visualize the surgical area. The surgeon wraps the top of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus to recreate and reinforce the dysfunctional LES. This is called a fundoplication or wrap. The Nissen Fundoplication is the most common and effective anti-reflux procedure.

Another surgical option is the EndoCinch System™. EndoCinch is like a tiny sewing machine that is attached to the end of a standard, flexible endoscope or tube. It enables the physician to create pleats in the soft tissue of the esophagus and stomach (LES) that prevent acid from flowing out of the stomach and into the esophagus. EndoCinch does not require an incision and is performed on an outpatient basis.

Recovering from Surgery

Most patients are discharged the day after surgery and can return to work and normal activities in less than one week. A liquid diet is started the day of surgery and advanced to a soft diet as tolerated. Patients will need to continue soft foods for approximately two to four weeks after surgery. A follow-up visit with the surgeon normally occurs two weeks after surgery.

*Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if robotic surgery or minimally invasive surgery are right for you.