Tags: gerd | anti-refluxsurgery | fundoplication | diet | risk

Anti-Reflux Surgery: Effectiveness and Risks of Fundoplication

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 11:14 PM

The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Any problems in the muscles present at the bottom of the esophagus will give rise to gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. Anti-reflux surgery such as fundoplication is carried out so that the muscle problem can be corrected and the risks are minimized.
When a person is suffering from GERD, the stomach acid and the food consumed will come back to the esophagus from the stomach of the patient. This is commonly known as the gastroesophageal reflux. This can lead to various symptoms including heartburn. This reflux takes place when the muscles that connect the esophagus with the stomach do not close tightly enough.
To treat GERD, fundoplication is the common anti-reflux surgery performed. The surgeon follows the following steps in the anti-reflux surgery, fundoplication:
  1. They start by repairing the hiatal hernia by suturing it. They will also tighten the diaphragm opening to avoid bulging.
  2. They use a piece of mesh to make the repaired area more secure.
  3. These stitches will then be used to enwrap the end of the esophagus with the upper part of the stomach. This is done so that enough pressure is created to avoid the stomach acid and food from traveling back to the esophagus from the stomach.
The risks of the anti-reflux surgery, fundoplication, to treat GERD are:
  • Fundoplication may lead to a collapsed lung, in treating rare cases of GERD.
  • The risk of damage to the liver, stomach, esophagus, and the small intestine exists in rare cases.
  • There may be a gas bloat, making it difficult for the patient to throw up or burp. There can also be a little bloating after a meal. Most people witness an improvement from this risk.
  • There may be difficulty and pain while swallowing, which is known as dysphagia.
  • The risk of hiatal hernia returning after fundoplication exists.
The patient should follow a strict diet when they return home after a fundoplication or anti-reflux surgery to stay away from potential risks. The patient will be prescribed to go on a two-week, clear-liquid diet. After this, there will be a two-week full-liquid diet that the patient will have to follow. Following this, there will be a soft food diet. The liquid diet should consist of one cup at a time and the liquid should only to be sipped and not gulped. Cold liquids should be avoided from diet to avert risks. When the food diet starts, the patient should chew well and eat small meals a day to get complete cure from GERD.

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Fundoplication, the most common type of anti-reflux surgery to treat GERD, is carried out to tighten the muscles connecting the stomach with the esophagus. There are a few risks that occur after this surgery, but they can be treated. There are a few fatal risks as well, but they are extremely rare.
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 11:14 PM
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