Depending on severity, reflux disease can be treated through medication, lifestyle changes and sometimes, surgery. Lack of treatment for reflux disease may lead to esophagus damage, ulcers and respiratory problems.
Surgical options at AMISurgery include laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, a minimally invasive surgical approach that involves small incisions and may only require a one-day hospital stay. Reflux also can be treated with endoscopic suturing/incisionless surgery (ESOPHYX), another minimally invasive procedure in which tucks are made in the valve to prevent Reflux. This procedure is outpatient and does not involve any incisions.
Treatment depends on the specific condition, but may include the following:
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is a minimally invasive procedure that recreates the one-way valve separating the esophagus from the stomach. This improves the valve’s performance and prevents the flow of acids from the stomach into the esophagus. Laparoscopic surgery is performed through five small incisions. As a result, there is less pain, quicker recovery time, shorter hospital stay (usually one day) and a lower risk of infection.
The average recovery time is seven to ten days as compared to the six to eight weeks involved with open surgery. In addition, this minimally invasive procedure has a 90 percent cure rate.
REOPERATIVE ANTIREFLUX SURGERY
Laparoscopic redo fundoplication is a reoperative surgery for failed anti-reflux surgeries. Ten percent of patients experience a recurrence of symptoms after laparoscopic surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
TRANSORAL INCISIONLESS FUNDOPLICATION (TIF) [ESOPHYX]
Transoral incisionless fundoplication is a less invasive procedure than the conventional open and laparoscopic approach because the scope is inserted through the mouth instead of through an incision in the abdominal area. Patients may experience less operative pain and no scarring. In recent studies, patients reported improved quality of life, satisfaction and reduction/elimination of heartburn symptoms.
Achalasia is a swallowing disorder caused by a tight sphincter (a circular muscle that relaxes and opens as we swallow) where the stomach meets the esophagus.
The Heller myotomy procedure is performed with a laparoscope for patients suffering with achalasia; a condition that prevents swallowing. During the procedure, the lower esophageal sphincter is divided to eliminate symptoms.
Barrett’s esophagus is a condition resulting from prolonged gastroesophageal reflux disease and is a risk factor for esophageal cancer. Careful systematic follow-up of these patients may allow the detection of early cancer and the cure of this disease.