GASTROESOPHAGEAL ANTIREFLUX SURGERY
Anti-reflux surgery is a treatment for acid reflux, also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). GERD is a condition in which food or stomach acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach.
Reflux often occurs if the muscles where the esophagus joins the stomach do not close tightly enough. A hiatal hernia can make GERD symptoms worse. This occurs when the stomach bulges through this opening into the chest.
Symptoms of reflux or heartburn are burning in the stomach that you may also feel in your throat or chest, belching or gas bubbles, or difficulty swallowing food or liquids.
The most common procedure of this type is called fundoplication. During this procedure, the surgeon:
- First repairs the hiatal hernia, if one is present. This involves tightening the opening in the diaphragm with sutures to prevent the stomach from bulging upward through the opening in the muscle wall. Some surgeons place a piece of mesh in the repaired area to secure it further.
- The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the end of the esophagus with sutures.
The sutures create pressure at the end of the esophagus, which helps prevent stomach acid and food from backing up from the stomach into the esophagus.
The surgery is done while you are under general anesthesia, so you will be asleep and pain-free. In most cases, the procedure takes 2 to 3 hours. The surgeon can select from different techniques.
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