Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, also known as the laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication procedure, is performed to correct gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder caused by gastric acid surging upward from the stomach into the esophagus. Acid reflux ("heartburn") occurs when the valve separating the stomach and the esophagus relaxes and does not shut properly.
GERD can be congenital, the result of a hiatal hernia, or caused by lifestyle choices including diet, smoking, alcohol consumption or even certain changes in body position. Prior to consideration of surgical options, GERD is usually treated through changing or eliminating certain behavior. Drug therapy is the next step in treatment, but for patients who do not respond to prescribed medication or who do not wish to be on a long-term drug regimen, surgery is a viable option.
The laparoscopic method has enhanced heartburn surgery by providing a lasting cure with reduced pain, improved cosmetic results and faster recovery time. Operating through small incisions and using videoscopic surgery to reinforce the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery is a popular alternative to the traditional "open" method.
Although the laparoscopic approach has many advantages, it may not be appropriate for patients. Consult one of The Miriam Hospital's trained surgeons for a medical evaluation to determine whether or not laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery is your best option.