Nissen Fundoplication (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Cause / Condition
Repeated bouts of heartburn, sour-tasting fluid in your throat and difficulty swallowing are classic symptoms of GERD, also known as reflux disease. The condition is caused by the upward surge (reflux) of stomach acids into the esophagus. Symptoms can also include chronic coughing or wheezing. Antacids relieve an occasional occurrence; however, surgical intervention is chosen when lifestyle changes (smoking cessation, weight loss, medication, diet) do not produce significant improvement. A complete endoscopy and investigation are performed to confirm a reflux diagnosis.

About the Procedure
After 4-5 ½" incisions are made, the surgeon constructs a new "valve" between the esophagus and stomach by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lowest point of the esophagus to form a collar, and sutures the two ends together. The procedure is performed using laparoscopic instruments specifically designed for this technique.

Patients generally have a 1-2 day hospital stay and begin a liquid diet soon after surgery. Swelling inside the esophagus may produce a feeling of tightness with a little difficulty swallowing which improves during the overall recovery process. Because no muscles are cut with the small incisions, there is less post-operative pain and normal activity can be resumed in 1-2 weeks.

Expectations / Experience
To prevent gas bloat and aid in swallowing, patients are instructed to chew their food thoroughly, restrain from gulping and avoid carbonated drinks for 3 to 4 weeks. Individual dietary and meal-size guidelines are recommended to promote the healing process.

MIMIS surgeons have had years of consistently successful patient results since 1991. They have trained over 100 surgeons in Wisconsin and published results indicating that 90% of patients are symptom-free after having the Nissen Fundoplication. Long-term laparoscopic results are comparable to open procedure results.

Factor Traditional Laparoscopic
Hospital Stay 7-8 days 1-2 days
Pain during recovery Moderate Minimal
Return to work timeframe 6 weeks 2-3 weeks
Cosmetic results 12" scar 4-5 tiny incisions

For more information contact:

The Milwaukee Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery
Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee
2301 N. Lake Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53211

(800) 377-2673

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