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During fundoplication surgery, the upper curve of the stomach (the fundus) is wrapped around the esophagus. Then it's sewn into place so that the lower portion of the esophagus passes through a small tunnel of stomach muscle. This surgery strengthens the valve between the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter). The valve stops acid from backing up into the esophagus as easily. This allows the esophagus to heal.
If a person has a hiatal hernia, which can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, it will also be repaired during this surgery.
If open surgery (which requires a large incision) is done, you will most likely spend several days in the hospital. After open surgery, you may need 4 to 6 weeks to get back to work or your normal routine.
If the laparoscopic method is used, you will most likely be in the hospital for only 2 to 3 days. You will have less pain after surgery. That's because there is no large incision to heal. After laparoscopic surgery, most people can go back to work or their normal routine in about 2 to 3 weeks, depending on their work.
After either surgery, you may need to change the way you eat. You may need to eat only soft foods until the surgery heals. And make sure to chew food thoroughly and eat more slowly. This gives give the food time to go down the esophagus.
Fundoplication surgery is most often used to treat GERD symptoms that are likely to be caused in part by a hiatal hernia and that have not been well controlled by medicines. The surgery may also be used for some people who don't have a hiatal hernia. Surgery also may be an option when:
Risks or complications after fundoplication surgery include:
For some people, the side effects of surgery—bloating caused by gas buildup, swallowing problems, pain at the surgical site—are as bothersome as GERD symptoms. The surgery can't be reversed. And in some cases it may not be possible to relieve the symptoms of these complications, even with a second surgery.
CitationsLundell L, et al. (2007). Seven-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial comparing proton-pump inhibition with surgical therapy for reflux oesophagitis. British Journal of Surgery, 94(2): 198–203.
Current as of: January 20, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas MD - Gastroenterology
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