Laparoscopic Anti-Reflux Surgery
What is gastroesophageal reflux?
GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a digestive disorder that affects the muscular ring connecting the esophagus to the stomach, also known as the lower esophageal sphincter. Normally, the sphincter prevents food from creeping up into the esophagus from the stomach.
A patient diagnosed with GERD, presents with a weakened sphincter muscle, which fails to close tightly, thereby allowing, food and stomach acids to flow back into the esophagus (reflux). The esophageal lining can become inflamed or irritated due to these acids, causing the burning chest pain, sour taste, or cough that patients suffer from.
How is laparoscopic anti-reflux treated?
Some patients do not respond well to medications or lifestyle changes while others are not comfortable following an on-going medication regimen. These patients, are candidates for a surgical procedure to correct their GERD symptoms. The most common surgical procedure for GERD is called a Nissen fundoplication, which involves the repair of a hiatal hernia, if present, and wrapping the top part of the stomach around the end of the esophagus. This recreates a one way valve prohibiting stomach acid from entering the esophagus, and can be done using a minimally invasive technique with several small incisions (laparoscopic surgery). By performing the surgery laparoscopically, the benefits include less pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, smaller scars, and a reduced risk of infections and hernias.** Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery is best for those who have not had abdominal surgery previously, those who experience small hiatal hernias without GERD complications, and those who have most of the symptoms of reflux when lying down.
When is surgery necessary?
Those with severe, chronic esophageal reflux may need surgery to correct the problem if other medical treatments are not relieving their symptoms. When left untreated, chronic gastroesophageal reflux can cause further complications including esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, bleeding, or scarring of the esophagus.
The LINX Reflux Management System
What is the LINX?
Another surgical procedure that can lessen the effects of GERD is the LINX Reflux Management System. It was designed to stop reflux at its source by restoring the body’s natural barrier, the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES).
LINX is a small, flexible band composed of titanium beads with magnetic cores. The band is placed around the LES through a laparoscopic procedure. The magnets hold it shut which stops stomach acid from breaking the seal. However, the magnetic force is still weak enough that swallowing can loosen it before it reconnects. This allows food and other necessities to enter the stomach and continue natural bodily function.
For the implant process, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon uses a sizing tool to determine which LINX system should be implanted. Then, the band is placed around the LES by suture tails, and the surgeon connects the ends securely.
Please contact our office if you would like more information on the general surgery procedures we perform.
**The information on this website is not an alternative to medical advice from your regular physician. Our health advice is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment; consult your regular physician before beginning the bariatric process. This site is for educational purposes only, and does not replace the need for a formal consultation with a surgeon before undergoing a surgical procedure or receiving treatment. The content/images on this website are not a guarantee of individual results. Individual results may vary.