When medication can’t control your acid reflux, and your esophagus is at risk of serious damage from stomach acid, reflux surgery may be necessary. The general surgeons at Rockwall Surgical Specialists have extensive experience performing laparoscopic reflux surgery to prevent acid reflux, and if you have a hiatal hernia, they can repair it at the same time. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, and Forney, Texas, or book an appointment online today.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid and undigested food come out of your stomach and flow up into your esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a round muscle located where the esophagus meets your stomach, controls the flow of substances in and out of your stomach.
Normally, the LES opens to let food into your stomach, then tightly closes to hold food and digestive acids in the stomach. When your LES weakens or relaxes at the wrong time, you develop acid reflux.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious and chronic form of acid reflux. As stomach acid continues to get into your esophagus, inflammation develops that can lead to an esophageal ulcer, respiratory problems, narrowing of the esophagus, and precancerous changes.
Your stomach is located just below the diaphragm muscle, so the esophagus passes through a small opening in the muscle, known as the hiatus, on its way to the stomach.
A hiatal hernia develops when the stomach pushes up through the opening in the diaphragm. When the hernia is small, it usually doesn’t create health problems. A large hernia, however, allows a significant amount of stomach acid to get into the esophagus.
You can also develop serious complications from a hiatal hernia. For example, the muscle may squeeze your stomach so tightly it loses its blood supply, or your intestine can twist and tear.
Your surgeon may recommend reflux surgery to repair a hiatal hernia, treat GERD by tightening the LES, or both. This surgery is called a Nissen fundoplication.
During fundoplication, your stomach is put back into place, the opening of the diaphragm is repaired, and the LES is reinforced by wrapping part of the stomach around the esophagus. If the opening in the diaphragm is too large, your surgeon may reinforce it with absorbable mesh.
Your surgeon at Rockwall Surgical Specialists performs the laparoscopic reflux surgery. This type of minimally invasive surgery uses specialized surgical instruments, including a camera-containing laparoscope, that is inserted through several small incisions using long, narrow tubes.
Laparoscopic surgery causes less postoperative pain, promotes faster recovery, produces minimal scarring, and gets you out of the hospital quickly.
To get relief from painful heartburn due to acid reflux, protect your esophagus, or repair a hiatal hernia, call Rockwall Surgical Specialists or book a consultation online today.