JOSE ERBELLA, M.D., FACS
General, Oncologic & Minimally Invasive Surgeries
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MINIMALLY INVASIVE REFLUX SURGERY
People suffering from chronic acid reflux who are unwilling or unable to undergo lifelong drug therapy for their gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often choose laparoscopic GERD surgery. This type of surgery is effective in over 90% of cases, according to the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.
Laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery has eliminated the need for large abdominal incisions to repair the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to reduce or eliminate symptoms of GERD. Using tiny abdominal incisions, the surgeon can guide long, slender surgical instruments into the abdomen and perform the surgery while viewing the surgical area on a video monitor. Each incision is just a few millimeters long, resulting in less discomfort for the patient, faster recovery times, and less risk of bleeding and infection.
LAPAROSCOPIC NISSEN FUNDOPLICATION
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is the most frequently performed surgical repair for gastroesophageal reflux disease. The technique strengthens the valve at the junction of the esophagus and stomach that is responsible for allowing stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus.
During the Nissen fundoplication surgery, the surgeon wraps the top of the stomach (fundus) around the lower portion of the esophagus and fastens it in place. This increases pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, helping it to function normally and prevent back-flow of stomach contents.
What to Expect after Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication
Results of Nissen fundoplication are extremely good with 80-90% of people experiencing significant improvement in their acid reflux symptoms. Follow up studies of patients who have had Nissen fundoplication surgery show that nine out of ten are symptom free two years after surgery. Many patients are able to reduce or discontinue their medications following surgery, although in cases where GERD has resulted in damage to the esophagus, medication therapy may still be required.