Reflux surgery is a surgical procedure to treat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, commonly called acid reflux. While the surgery can be both open and laparoscopic, most people choose the second option due to the lesser pain, faster recovery time, and lesser scarring, and fewer complications. In this post, you’ll learn in detail about minimally invasive reflux surgery, the qualification criteria, and the long-term efficacy of the procedure. Read on to find out.
Fundoplication is a common antireflux surgery wherein the surgeon wraps the upper portion of the stomach, called fundus, around the lower portion of the esophagus. This restricts the contents from the lower esophagus from returning to the esophagus and causing acid reflux and regurgitation symptoms. Fundoplication is carried out either as an open surgery or using a laparoscope and takes about 2-3 hours. Most patients recover in less than a week with a laparoscopic fundoplication, while the recovery in an open fundoplication is longer.
LINX (Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation)
LINX is a newer procedure using to address the weak lower esophageal sphincter that allows for troublesome regurgitation and reflux. This procedure is routinely performed through minimally invasive surgery and is done as an outpatient. In most cases, LINX is replacing fundoplication as it is better tolerated and allows for better reflux control without limitations on many types of foods. Surgeons offering LINX must go through specialized training to ensure proper patient selection and surgical technique.
Qualification for Surgery
There are mainly three categories of patients who are deemed suitable for reflux surgery. The first group comprises patients with chronic reflux disease who want to wean themselves off lifelong medication; this pool represents the largest number of patients who undergo the procedure. The second group comprises patients with chronic reflux disease who do not get much relief from antireflux therapies such as proton pump inhibitor. The third category is those with secondary symptoms of reflux. These may include voice troubles, chronic sinus infections, or intermittent pneumonias.
According to JAMA Surgery, a monthly professional medical journal, laparoscopic antireflux surgery is a highly effective procedure, with about 80-90 percent of patients reporting a notable improvement. The number of patients who requires a second surgery is less than 7 percent. Careful patient selection for preoperative evaluation and the advantages of fundoplication are the main reasons behind the success of reflux surgery as a long-lasting treatment for GERD.
A 12-year long study at the Helsinki University Central Hospital found that cumulative long-term cure rates for GERD following an antireflux surgery were 87.7 percent at 5 years and 72.9 percent at 10 years. Eighty-three percent of all the patients available for long-term follow-up rated their procedure a success. Heartburn and other gastrointestinal symptoms showed marked improvement after the surgery. Some individuals may need another surgery, but if the wrap loosens, is too tight, or the patient develops a hiatal hernia.
Planning a Reflux Surgery in Texas? Contact Us
Antireflux surgery, such as fundoplication, represents an effective treatment option for people facing chronic reflux disease. Through the procedure, patients can improve the quality of their life to the level of those without the disease. If you are planning to undergo a reflux surgery in Fort Worth or Dallas, contact the experts at the DFW Bariatrics and General Surgery of Dallas. To schedule an appointment, simply call 469-620-0222, or fill out this form and we will take it from there.