What You Should Know About Anti-Reflux Surgery

A systematic review found that the prevalence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is 18.1 to 27.8 percent in the United States. These statistics are expected to increase as the disease grows more prevalent and places a greater burden on the global healthcare system. Increasingly younger people are developing GERD as well. In this article, we discuss what you need to know about one method of gastrointestinal surgery in Tampa capable of treating GERD — laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery. 

When Is Anti-Reflux Surgery Necessary? 

Anti-reflux surgery may be necessary in the treatment of chronic gastroesophageal reflux if other methods of treatment, such as medication or avoiding acidic foods, have not relieved the severity or prevalence of symptoms. This is due to the fact that, if left untreated or not managed properly, GERD can result in a number of complications, including esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, or bleeding or scarring of the esophagus. 

Anti-reflux surgery is recommended for those who have not had previous abdominal surgery, those who experience most symptoms of reflux while lying down, and those with small hiatal hernias. Whalen Clark, M.D., a top gastrointestinal surgeon in Tampa, recommends this type of surgery for patients who are presently unable to manage their symptoms, would prefer not to rely on acid reflux medications, or are suffering from the side effects of acid reflux medications.  

Related: What to Do When Your Acid Reflux Becomes a Serious Disease

What Is the Procedure for Anti-Reflux Surgery?

Anti-reflux surgery, also known as Nissen fundoplication, is a minimally-invasive procedure designed to correct gastroesophageal reflux by reinforcing the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. During this procedure, the surgeon uses small incisions to enter the abdomen and insert a laparoscope, connected to a small camera. This camera gives the surgeon a magnified view of the inside of the body and the entire operation is performed by way of the narrow surgical instruments inserted through the incisions. 

The benefits of the laparoscopic approach to anti-reflux surgery include reduced recovery and hospitalization time, reduced postoperative pain, reduced blood loss from surgery, improved cosmetic result, and fewer complications overall. The vast majority of patients who undergo laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery either have significant improvements in their GERD symptoms or are entirely symptom free following the procedure, with no long-term, negative side effects. 

If you are currently suffering from the symptoms of your gastroesophageal reflux disease or simply no longer wish to take your anti-reflux medication, contact Dr. Whalen Clark — the best gastrointestinal surgeon in Tampa

To learn more about gastrointestinal surgery in Tampa, or to schedule a consultation with Whalen Clark, M.D., please request an appointment today.

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