Acid Reflux Surgery
Surgical treatment for acid reflux in Atlanta can repair esophageal damage and reduce risk of acid reflux returning in the future.
One of the most successful forms of anti-reflux surgery is the Nissen Fundoplication procedure. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses laparoscopic tools to reinforce the muscular wall surrounding the base of the esophagus at the opening of the stomach.
While medications and dietary changes can reduce the production of acid, no medication is capable of restoring the muscular framework surrounding the LES, nor is any medication capable of repairing the tissue that lines the esophagus. Anti-reflux surgery can repair damage caused by acid reflux in the past while preventing future instances of reflux.
About the Nissen Fundoplication Procedure
For many people who struggle with chronic acid reflux, the heartburn is not caused by isolated dietary choices, but instead as a result of damage to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus and is responsible for preventing the backwash of digestive juices from the stomach.
This valve is designed to open for food to pass through to the stomach before closing securely, but when this valve becomes damaged or relaxed it is incapable of doing its job correctly. This results in the ability of stomach acid to splash freely out of the stomach, where it irritates the lining of the esophagus and causes the symptoms of acid reflux disease, including heartburn and regurgitation.
The Nissen Fundoplication procedure wraps a small portion of the stomach known as the fundus around this stomach valve, thereby reinforcing it and preventing the backwash of digestive juices into the esophagus.
The procedure is done laparoscopically, a minimally invasive surgical technique that uses minor incisions and a surgical camera to complete the operation at reduced risk. Benefits of laparoscopic surgery include:
- No large incision
- Reduced risk of wound infection
- Reduced post-operative pain
- Faster recovery
- Reduced scarring
If necessary during the nissen fundoplication procedure, it is possible for your surgeon to easily correct a hiatal hernia, another common cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease. This form of hernia occurs when a small portion of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm. Hiatal hernias do not cause any identifiable symptoms other than increased risk of heartburn and acid reflux. Acid reflux caused by hiatal hernia will not improve with diet or medication use, but instead will require surgical intervention.