The Laproscopic Acid Reflux Surgery Process
Laparoscopic acid reflux surgery (commonly referred to as Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication) involves strengthening the “valve” between the esophagus and the stomach by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lowest portion of the esophagus.
In a laparoscopic procedure, surgeons use quarter to half-inch incisions to enter the abdomen using cannulas (narrow tube-like instruments). The laparoscope, which is connected to a tiny video camera, is inserted through the small incision, giving the surgeon an enlarged view of the patient’s internal organs on a television screen. The entire operation is performed within the abdomen.
- Your Houston surgeon will review the risks and benefits of the operation, and you will need to provide a written consent.
- You may need blood work, a medical evaluation, chest X-ray, and an EKG depending on your age and health history.
- Your Houston surgeon may require you to cleanse your colon and intestines prior to surgery. You may need to follow a clear liquid diet for several days prior to your surgery.
- You should shower the night before or morning of your operation.
- You should not eat or drink anything after midnight before your operation.
- Drugs such as aspirin, blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications (arthritis medications), and Vitamin E may need to be stopped temporarily for up to a week before surgery.
- Diet medication and St. John’s Wort should not be used for two weeks before surgery.
- You will need to quit smoking and arrange for any help you will need at home.
- You’ll arrive at the hospital in the morning.
- A licensed medical staff member will place a needle and catheter in your vein to dispense medication.
- You may need to take a pre-operative medication.
- You will be under general anesthesia and asleep during the procedure, which may last several hours.
- After the procedure, you will be sent to the surgery center recovery room until you are fully awake.
- You may need to spend at least one night or several days in the hospital.
- After surgery, patients are encouraged to engage in light exercise.
- Post-operative pain tends to be mild; however, some patients will need prescription pain medications.
- Acid reflux medication is typically not necessary after surgery.
- You may need to modify your diet after surgery. A liquid diet may be necessary until you are ready to advance to solid foods.
- Within a short period of time, you will be able to resume regular activities such as showering, driving, walking up stairs, lifting, working, and engaging in sexual intercourse.
- You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment within 2 weeks after your surgery.
Benefits of Laproscopic Acid Reflux Surgery
Laparoscopic acid reflex surgery is a minimally invasive procedure with positive patient outcomes. Advantages include reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays, faster return to work, and improve cosmetic results.
Keep in mind, however, that laparoscopic surgery is not for everyone. Make sure that you obtain a thorough medical evaluation from a Houston surgeon who is highly qualified with this procedure. Make sure to involve both your primary care physician and gastroesterologist.