Why Reflux Surgery Might Be Necessary

Reflux Surgery, Dallas, Texas, Rockwall Surgical Specialists

More than 60 million adults are living with acid reflux, a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and roughly 25 million experience symptoms daily. This can range from a mild uncomfortable sensation to severe burning accompanied by problems swallowing, coughing, or wheezing.

While medications are available to address acid reflux, they sometimes aren’t enough to control symptoms in some people. In those cases, reflux surgery may be the best solution.

Understanding GERD

In patients with GERD, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — a muscular tissue at the end of esophagus — fails to work properly. Normally, the LES acts as a one-way valve that opens and closes to prevent stomach acid from flowing back up the esophagus.

With GERD, the LES allows stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn and damaging the esophagus over time. The inflammation caused by GERD can lead to:

Having a hiatal hernia may contribute to developing GERD. This refers to a condition where the upper part of your stomach bulges into your chest cavity.

When reflux surgery is necessary to treat GERD

For some patients with acid reflux, medication and lifestyle changes are enough to relieve symptoms and prevent serious damage to the esophagus from stomach acid. People with severe reflux may need surgery to correct the problem when other treatments fail.

GERD can cause serious damage and complications, including bleeding, scarring, and ulcers of the esophagus. If you have severe GERD that doesn’t respond to medication, your doctor may recommend surgery to prevent serious problems.

Minimally invasive surgery corrects GERD

The surgeons at Rockwall Surgical Specialists routinely perform laparoscopic reflux surgery to correct GERD and relieve acid reflux. Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is the most common surgery performed to treat GERD.

This minimally invasive approach involves making several small incisions to reinforce your lower esophageal sphincter and recreate the one-way valve to prevent reflux. If you have a hiatal hernia, your surgeon also can repair that during your surgery. Fundoplication is very effective at treating GERD.

The laparoscopic approach offers benefits over open surgery, including:

Laparoscopic surgery isn’t appropriate for everyone, however. Your surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation to determine your candidacy for the laparoscopic method. With patients for whom laparoscopic surgery is inappropriate, open surgery is an option. This approach involves making a single incision, roughly 6 inches long, to make the needed repairs.

 

Left untreated, GERD can have a serious effect on your health. To relieve painful symptoms of severe acid reflux and to protect against GERD complications, call one of the Rockwall Surgical Specialists offices throughout the Dallas, Texas, area to schedule a consultation. You can also book your appointment online.

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