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Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) (cont.)

Acid Reflux (GERD) Surgery

Surgery is never the first option for treating GERD. Changes in lifestyle, diet, and habits, nonprescription antacids, and prescription medications all must be tried before resorting to surgery. Only if all else fails is surgery recommended. Because lifestyle changes and medications work well in most people, surgery is done on only a small number of people.

The operation used most often for GERD is called fundoplication.

  • Fundoplication works by increasing pressure in the lower esophagus to keep acid from backing up.
  • The surgeon wraps part of your stomach around your esophagus like a collar and tacks it down to provide more of a one-way valve effect.
  • This procedure now can be done laparoscopically. The surgeon makes a couple of very small cuts in your belly and inserts long narrow instruments and a fiberoptic camera (laparoscope) through the slits. This method leaves little scarring and can produce a much faster recovery.
  • Like all surgical procedures, fundoplication does not always work and can have complications.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/28/2014
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