Reflux Surgery Options
Acid reflux surgery is the most effective treatment option for the long-term resolution of heartburn, reflux and indigestion. There are several forms of anti-reflux procedures, most often performed through minimally and non-invasive surgical procedures.
Anti-reflux surgery is typically an outpatient procedure that takes less than half an hour to complete. Patients are put under anesthesia and will remain asleep during the entire procedure. Relief from acid reflux is often immediate following anti-reflux surgery.
Which Treatment is Right for You?
The optimal method of treatment for you depends on:
- The cause of your reflux
- Severity and frequency of acid reflux
- Personal and family history with reflux disease
- Development of secondary health concerns from reflux
If acid reflux symptoms cannot be alleviated with lifestyle changes and medication, or if you would prefer to avoid long-term use of medication, reflux surgery is often recommended.
Forms of Reflux Surgery
During Nissen fundoplication, the upper portion of the stomach is wrapped around the outside of the lower esophagus. This strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the barrier between the esophagus and stomach that is responsible for preventing acid reflux.
Nissen fundoplication is typically performed with laparoscopic techniques. Laparoscopic surgery is completed using a flexible surgical scope and other instruments through a series of small incisions in the abdomen. Laparoscopic techniques result in less scarring, shorter recovery time and a lower risk of complications than traditional open surgery.
Though reinforcement of the LES can lead to a reduction in acid reflux, Nissen fundoplication may also make it difficult to burp, swallow or vomit.
Hill Posterior Gastropexy
Hill posterior gastropexy repairs the anti-reflux barrier by securing the junction of the esophagus and stomach to the abdominal cavity. Hill posterior gastropexy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure with minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques.
Unlike Nissen fundoplication, the Hill procedure preserves two-way movement through the esophagus. This helps to eliminate many of the problems with burping, swallowing and vomiting that may be caused by Nissen fundoplication.
Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) with the EsophyX device strengthens the barrier between the stomach and esophagus without any external incisions. An endoscope is used to guide the EsophyX device through the mouth and down into the esophagus, where the anti-reflux valve is reconstructed and the LES is tightened.
After reflux surgery, a short-term liquid diet may be recommended to encourage recovery. Nearly all patients with severe reflux experience an immediate improvement in symptoms following reflux surgery.