A Closer Look at GERD Procedures

An illustration of a persons stomach and intestines.GERD treatment innovations have resulted in several procedures that can greatly alleviate GERD symptoms, and provide heartburn relief for our patients. Each of these procedures uses minimally invasive techniques, leading to faster and easier recovery.

Nissen Fundoplication

This procedure involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the lower esophagus. This tightens and strengthens the lower esophagus, and helps prevent acid moving from the stomach into the esophagus. This procedure is performed laparoscopically, which means the surgeon operates from outside of the body using tools inserted into the abdomen. Only five small incisions are made into the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery requires a shorter recovery time and less pain than traditional open surgery.

Magnetic Augmentation of the Gastroesophageal Junction or LINX

During Magnetic Augmentation of the Gastroesophageal Junction - also known as a LINX procedure - a small, flexible band of magnetic titanium beads is inserted around the entrance from the esophagus into the stomach (the gastroesophageal junction). At the gastroespohageal junction, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a muscle that opens and closes to allow food to enter and stay in the stomach. When the band of beads is in place, the magnets hold the LES closed, preventing acid from moving from the stomach into the esophagus. When foods or liquids are swallowed, the pressure overcomes the magnetic bond between the beads enough to allow them to pass through the esophagus into the stomach. This procedure is also performed laparoscopically, minimizing pain and recovery time.

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication or TIF

The Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) is done through the mouth, eliminating the need for any incisions. The TIF procedure uses a device called the EsophyX2, which allows for the surgeon to wrap the upper portion of the stomach around the lower esophagus through the mouth, rather than working through the abdomen like the Nissen Fundoplication procedure described above. Similar to that procedure, the TIF procedure prevents acid from moving into the esophagus from the stomach, reducing acid reflux symptoms and providing heartburn relief.

Am I a Candidate for GERD Procedures?

Many people with Gastroespohageal Reflux Disease (GERD) are able to adequately control acid indigestion and heartburn symptoms without surgery. However, some still have acid reflux symptoms after taking medication and making lifestyle and diet changes. Acid reflux and heartburn that doesn’t go away despite these treatments is a common reason to consider a GERD procedure.

Not all patients are candidates. However, you may want to consider a GERD procedure if you:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prilosec, Prevacid, or Nexium to treat your GERD symptoms for at least six months
  • Respond well to medications but do not want to have to take medications forever

The team at Columbia St. Mary’s Reflux Center will do a complete evaluation to determine if a GERD procedure is right for you.

 

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