Acid reflux surgery is often used as a treatment options for patients who suffer from chronic reflux and GERD. Heartburn, sour taste in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and dry cough are all symptoms of GERD, and when left untreated severe reflux can lead to ulcers, hiatal hernias and sometimes cancer. There are several different anti-reflux surgeries available, each with varying levels of effectiveness, but on average reflux surgery has proven to be effective in 80 to 90% of patients that undergo it.
Anti-reflux surgery might seem scary, but it’s actually incredibly routine and relatively low-risk. For patients who have suffered from GERD all their lives, the benefits of the procedure heavily outweigh any risks. Surgery is, for most patients, a huge turning point in their lives. Anti-reflux surgery has a number of benefits, but here are five of the most important ways that it will change your life permanently.
1. Elimination of Reflux Medications
Using medication for GERD over long periods of time has side effects, some of them very serious. There are many factors that can contribute towards patients wanting to get off their medications. Side effects are one, but possibly the most important reason is that medication is oftentimes nothing more than a band-aid solution. Reflux medications don’t cure the underlying cause, they simply alleviate the symptoms.
For these patients, anti-reflux surgery is a permanent solution. Anti-reflux surgery addresses and fixes the underlying cause of GERD, alleviating both the symptoms and source of the disease. Reflux surgery also leads to patient’s getting off prescription medicines and not ever having to return. This not only saves the patient money, it also improves quality of life.
2. Freedom At The Dinner Table
One of the worst things about suffering from chronic reflux is that it takes away your ability to eat freely and without fear. Foods that you once loved are now associated with painful heartburn, and you find yourself having to skip out on that morning cup of coffee. Anti-reflux surgery helps you take back control of your food choices.
Immediately following reflux surgery you’ll be on a limited and strict diet as your body heals. Your doctor will tell you how to proceed. This diet is necessary so that the surgery can heal and work properly. You may be on a liquid diet or semi-liquid diet for a specific amount of time, ranging from a few weeks to six weeks depending on what type of operation you got. After this you’ll be able to resume a normal diet. At first you start slow, weaning yourself back into solid foods, but within a short amount of time your food options are your own. Almost all patients that have reflux surgery can eat normally again without any symptoms of reflux, and it’s one of the aspects of the surgery that they appreciate the most.
3. Improvement in Reflux Symptoms
The constant symptoms of acid reflux make life miserable. Many patients find after the surgery that the symptoms disappear completely. This means no more indigestion, sour taste in the mouth, nausea after eating and waking up with heartburn. After months or years of dealing with this, imagine how great the patient feels. This is one of the major reasons that people have acid reflux surgery.
4. Less Pain and the Ability to Exercise More Effectively
If you’ve suffered from reflux your whole life, you’ll know that it can be incredibly painful. It’s also notorious for making most aspects of your life difficult, including trying to exercise. Many people find working out almost impossible with severe reflux, or at least an unpleasant experience. Anti-reflux surgery changes that.
Many patients feel better after the operation and free from pain when exercising normally. Extreme exercise and weight lifting is often prohibited for about a month or so after the procedure, but within time once your body heals you’ll find yourself enjoying being able to run on the treadmill without vomiting, or being able to weight lift without belching.
5. Getting A Full 8 Hours Of Sleep
Patients with reflux often suffer from interrupted sleep. They wake up with heartburn, nausea, shortness of breath, and a sour taste in the throat. This makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is an important part of good health, and lack of sleep often leads to poor concentration, driving accidents, and poor health.
After reflux surgery, patients find themselves sleeping much better. Gone are the days of waking up with reflux, or lying in bed unable to sleep due to painful heartburn. With more restful sleep their health improves and they are able to handle stress and everyday life better.This is a huge benefit of the surgery that improves health.
As with any surgery, there are some small risks to anti-reflux surgery. Our patients have found, though, that the positive benefits of treating your GERD with surgery far outweigh the risks. These are just five ways that undergoing acid reflux surgery can change your life. Talk with your reflux surgeon to determine whether it might be the right solution for you!