Living with the symptoms of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can put large amounts of added stress and discomfort on your life. According to a review from 2014, GERD affects 15-30% of the U.S. population.
Despite its prevalence, many people leave their GERD untreated, electing instead to treat symptoms with over-the-counter pills and lifestyle changes, rather than correcting the root cause of GERD. There are many GERD treatment options, but the most effective, by far, is anti-reflux surgery. In this article, we will go in-depth on one surgical option for GERD: lap Nissen fundoplication.
What is Lap Nissen Fundoplication?
Nissen fundoplication is what’s referred to as a laparoscopic surgical procedure performed on patients with GERD. It is a minimally invasive procedure which is done to restore the function of the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve between the esophagus and the stomach) by wrapping or
“plicating” the stomach around the esophagus.
Why do I need nissen fundoplication?
As mentioned, while you can manage your GERD symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux, the true cause of GERD is a weakening of your lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which usually will need to be repaired in severe cases of chronic GERD. This surgery reinforces the weakened part of this muscle with added strengthening from the part of your stomach that is wrapped around the lower esophagus.
What happens during Nissen fundoplication?
Your doctor will create a small incision in the upper abdomen and then take part of the upper stomach, wrap it around the lower esophagus, and fasten it there. This creates a new “functional valve” between the esophagus and the stomach and prevents reflux of the acid and bile (non-acidic fluid) from the stomach into the esophagus.
How is the recovery for Nissen fundoplication?
In terms of recovery time, you may be sore and have some pain in your abdomen for a few weeks after surgery, but you should be able to return to work and normal habits in 2-3 weeks. You may experience some difficulty swallowing for up to 6 weeks after the surgery.
You don’t have to live with the uncomfortable symptoms of GERD any longer! Speak with your GERD doctor about your options for GERD treatment. Call Tampa Bay Reflux Center today and schedule a consultation with one of our reflux specialists.