If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you know how disruptive symptoms can get. When you have symptoms that prevent you from enjoying daily activities and going about your life, fundoplication may offer a solution. Advanced Laparoscopic Associates surgeons can help you regain your quality of life with this minimally invasive surgery.

What Is Fundoplication?

Fundoplication is designed to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) as a type of GERD treatment. This minimally invasive surgical procedure uses robotic surgery/laparoscopy to wrap the fundus, or the top of the stomach, around the LES. The surgeon then sutures it to hold it in place as a way to prevent regurgitation and stop stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus. It also helps reduce inflammation related to acid reflux symptoms.

Fundoplication causes minimal pain and has a fairly quick recovery time. The treatment is highly effective and significantly relieves GERD symptoms for most patients. It is the most commonly used GERD surgical procedure.

How Does Fundoplication Work?

Typically, before your surgeon decides to perform fundoplication surgery, they will often order one of the following tests:

  • Barium swallow X-ray
  • Upper endoscopy
  • pH probing
  • Esophageal manometry

Laparoscopic fundoplication, also sometimes called Nissen fundoplication, first places a handful of small incisions around the abdomen to create access to the patient’s stomach and esophagus. Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to work inside the body using a small camera. They conduct the surgery while using a monitor so that they can see inside the patient’s body for a successful surgery.

The surgeon then uses fine tools to wrap the upper portion of your stomach around your esophagus. In GERD patients, the LES may not work properly, which leaves it open for stomach acid to climb back up into the esophagus. Wrapping the fundus around the LES essentially repairs the problem. After the surgeon has completed the procedure, they will then close the incision with sutures.

Why Use Fundoplication?

Fundoplication offers a low-risk GERD treatment option for people who cannot take medication for acid reflux. Some patients may have side effects or allergies to medications that would otherwise control their condition while others find that medication does not control their symptoms well enough. These patients may have tried several noninvasive GERD treatments, including:

  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • H2 blockers
  • Antacids

Surgeons like ours at Advanced Laparoscopic Associates generally recommend fundoplication for long-term GERD treatment when medications fail to control symptoms to a point that allows the patient to have a good quality of life.

This procedure works well for both adults and children due to its safety and short recovery time. Aside from patients who have trouble using typical GERD medications, some choose fundoplication because it offers a single, long-term treatment, so they don’t have to worry about missing doses of their medication.

GERD can carry some risks, especially if left untreated. Nissen fundoplication helps you avoid developing Barrett’s esophagus, which increases your risk of esophageal cancer. The laparoscopic procedure also promotes faster recovery and requires less time in the hospital than open surgery.

What Does Fundoplication Recovery Look Like?

With its quick recovery time, most patients who receive fundoplication surgery recover and can resume their normal activities in seven to ten days. You may feel some mild discomfort following your surgery, such as:

  • Sore throat
  • Gas and bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Recurring heartburn

With laparoscopic fundoplication surgery, you’ll need to stay in the hospital anywhere from one to three days compared to an open surgery that requires a four to five-day stay. You may need an intravenous (IV) line while you’re in the hospital.

At Advanced Laparoscopic Associates, our experienced surgeons can help you manage your GERD. Request an appointment to learn more about fundoplication and discuss the best treatment options for your condition.

For additional information, all prospective patients are invited to attend a free educational seminar.
Seminars are a great source of information about the procedure you are considering, and they allow you to meet the surgeons as well as ask any questions you may have. You may also have the opportunity to meet some post-operative patients.

Seminar Sign-up

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