Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a disorder commonly known as heartburn.
The symptoms are caused by a backup of the stomach contents into the esophagus. This causes a harsh burning sensation in the area of the upper abdomen and lower chest. A wide variety of symptoms can occur secondary to this disease process. Many people suffer from GERD to some extent. Most of these symptoms can be controlled with medications.
When the symptoms become more disabling and are unable to be controlled with medications, surgical intervention is needed. The most commonly performed procedure in the United States is a laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. This operation is performed using minimally invasive techniques employing 5-6 small one-quarter to one-half inch incisions. The operation involves freeing up the redundant portion of the stomach and wrapping it around the lower portion of the esophagus to recreate a “valve” that prevents the gastric contents from entering the esophagus. This procedure has a high success rate and is performed laparoscopically, which reduces the post-operative pain and results in a shorter hospital stay. In addition, the patient is able to return to normal functions sooner and has a better cosmetic result.
Follow the links below to learn more about GERD and your options for treatment.