An estimated 1-in-5 adults in America is affected by gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as GERD. While most commonly associated with heartburn, GERD is actually a chronic disease that causes reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus. Heartburn that occurs at least twice a week is just one of the most common symptoms of GERD, but some patients may show no symptoms. Over time, GERD can damage or erode the tissue of the esophagus, causing more serious problems. At Arizona Premier Surgery, we offer state-of-the-art anti-reflux surgery for GERD: laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication or lap Nissen. Using minimally invasive techniques to repair and strengthen the esophagus, laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication can help patients who have not had success treating their GERD with lifestyle modification and medications.
Common Reasons for Surgery
Nissen fundoplication has become the standard surgical treatment for patients who have severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Affecting up to 20% of Americans, GERD creates heartburn (acid indigestion) that may not be controlled with lifestyle modifications or medicines. Laparoscopic surgery for GERD can help to improve the patient's symptoms and heal their esophagus.
Anti-reflux surgery may also be considered for patients who have symptoms that need immediate attention, including esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), a constriction of the esophagus not related to cancer, and Barrett's esophagus where acid reflux changes the esophageal cells.
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery can also be used to treat a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is caused when the stomach bulges through weakened tissue in the diaphragm, increasing the risk of reflux (stomach acid backing up into the esophagus), which causes heartburn.
About Lap Nissen
Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility in about 2 hours as an in-patient surgery. The surgeon will make 5 small incisions in the patient's abdominal cavity where the laparoscope will be inserted. To strengthen and heal the esophagus, the upper stomach (also known as the fundus) is wrapped around and attached to the esophagus. Once this is complete, the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve between the esophagus and stomach) will be better able to stop acid from getting into the esophagus. If the patient has a hiatal hernia, it can be repaired during the surgery.
What to Expect
Patients typically spend one night in the hospital after their anti-reflux surgery for observation and care. Once discharged, patients can continue their recovery at home with dietary restrictions, like a liquid or soft foods diet. Patients should schedule a follow-up appointment with their doctor for 2 weeks after their surgery. Most patients will be able to return to their normal routines and activities 2 – 3 weeks after surgery, but strenuous activity should be avoided until the patient gets approval from their doctor.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
If you aren't getting the relief you want from diet modifications, lifestyle changes, and medications like proton pump inhibitors, schedule a consultation at Arizona Premier Surgery to learn more about laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. With minimally invasive surgery and a fast recovery time, lap Nissen surgery can be the answer to your GERD.