Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication Surgery

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Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication Surgery Overview

Your esophagus is a tube that connects your mouth and throat to your stomach; when you swallow, your lower esophageal sphincter (a muscular ring on the bottom portion of your esophagus) loosens, allowing food and liquid to enter.

If your lower esophageal sphincter is weakened, the contents of your stomach may seep back into your esophagus, causing problems ranging from discomfort to heartburn to difficulty swallowing.

Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery wraps the upper curve of the stomach around your esophagus, stitching it into place; this strengthens the valve in-between, preventing or reducing back-up and allowing the esophagus to heal.

Since only a small incision is required, there is less scarring and pain; a shorter hospital stay; reduced respiratory complications; and a more rapid recovery than with traditional open surgery.

Indications for Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication Surgery

There are two main reasons for having laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery:

  • GERD, a gridlock of stomach acid (bile) into your esophagus for which there may be multiple causes, each possible of affecting you in different ways at different times. Contributing factors may include an abnormality of your lower esophageal sphincter, the most common in which it does not properly open or relax when you swallow.
  • A hiatal hernia, which occurs when part of your stomach pushes into your diaphragm and the chest.

Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery is also often an option when:

  • Your reflux symptoms (along with hoarseness, asthma, cough, and others) continue, even with medications.
  • Lingering symptoms are shown to be the result of a reflux of stomach juices.
  • You are unable or do not wish to consider taking medicine over a prolonged time.

Should You Have Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication Surgery?

Although successful laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication surgery may end your dependence on medicine, it is important that you discuss the risks, cost, and potential problems of both with your physician.

While surgery is successful in decreasing symptoms and healing the esophagus for most patients, sometimes the symptoms return or new symptoms appear, requiring a second surgery and/or the need for medications.

Your doctor may do testing to make certain that surgery is the right choice to help alleviate your symptoms, as well as identify other problems that could be aggravated.

If you can take medications with little difficulty, you may not need surgery.