SURGERY FOR OESOPHAGUS - REFLUX SURGERY

What is Reflux surgery?

Surgery done for reflux are done to stop the stomach acid from passing into the oesophagus.

When is it done?

Reflux surgery is usually the last resort done to treat severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) which causes acid reflux, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, bloating and burping due to the ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus becoming weakened and acid being pushed up from the stomach. If your symptoms cannot be managed with medication and lifestyle changes, surgery may be an option. It may also be considered instead of taking long-term medications for GORD.

How is it done?

There are a number of different types of surgeries that can be done to treat gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) such as:

Fundoplication may be done to tighten the upper part of the stomach (the sphincter valve) to prevent acid from pushing into the oesophagus. This surgery may be done using open surgery or laparoscopically.

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A TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) is done for cases in which a fundoplication is not possible. This is a surgical procedure in which a device is inserted into the base of the oesophagus to form a new valve between the stomach and oesophagus.

The Strettap Procedure is done through an endoscope. Using a thin tube through the throat, an electrode creates tiny cuts in the oesophagus from which scar tissue will form. This scar tissue will then block the nerves that respond to refluxed acid.

The linx surgery may be done to insert a linx device into the oesophagus. The linx device is a ring of tiny magnets which is able to strengthen the valve between the stomach and oesophagus.

After surgery, you will be given instructions on how to care for your wound. You will be given pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection. Depending on the type of reflux surgery done to the oesophagus, recovery may differ. Recovery is generally quicker when the surgery is done laparoscopically or endoscopically. It is essential to contact Dr Muthambi if you experience any of the following symptoms as emergency care may be needed:

  • High temperature or chills
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling around the incisions
  • Bleeding from the wound
  • Extreme pain

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