How is 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.