At Tampa Bay Reflux Center our reflux doctors specialize in three anti-reflux surgeries and we often talk about them in our blog. Frequently, we point to their most appealing benefit (besides getting rid of acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD): the fact that the LINX® Reflux Management System and the Nissen Fundoplication procedures are minimally-invasive, laparoscopic procedures.

What this means, basically, is that the procedures are quick, simple, and can be done on an outpatient basis — not to mention the quick recovery times. But for those of you who are wanting a more in-depth explanation, you’re probably wondering, what is a laparoscopy? Or, what is laparoscopic surgery?

For those of us used to the term, the insight comes immediately, but for someone who’s never heard about it, it can leave the procedure in a cloud of mystery as to the ins and the outs of the surgery. In that case, here is a little more information on laparoscopic surgeries and how they work.

What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?

A laparoscopic surgery is a kind of “minimally invasive” surgery that uses a special camera know as a laparoscope to see inside a person’s abdomen, allowing the surgeon to perform a traditionally “open” surgery but with smaller incisions so that the procedure is not as invasive.

How Does Laparoscopic Surgery Work?

With traditional open surgery, the surgeon uses a single, large incision to enter the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery uses several small 0.5-1 cm incisions, called “ports,” to conduct the procedure. Before the procedure begins, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide a space and visibility for the surgeon to work.

Through each “port,”  hollow, tubular instruments called trocars are inserted, and the laparoscope and other tools used during the procedure are passed through these. Once inside, the laparoscope is able to transmit detailed images to high-resolution video monitors in the operating room, which guide the surgeon so that he can perform the procedure precisely and efficiently.

What To Expect After A Laparoscopic Surgery?

From a recovery perspective, what to expect after a laparoscopic surgery really depends on the kind of procedure you get. For example, our LINX Reflux Management System surgery allows patients to go home right after and does not require any special diet. Meanwhile, our Nissen Fundoplication procedure requires an overnight stay and a strict diet for about a month.

Overall, compared to traditional, “open” surgeries, laparoscopic surgeries simply offer patients less painful procedures, a shorter recovery time, and less scarring.

More Information

To learn more about each particular anti-reflux surgery that we offer, visit our Reflux And GERD Treatment page or give us a call! If you would like to book an appointment for any of these surgeries, please contact us today.

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