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Acid Reflux Surgery: Is It Effective?

May 1, 2008
If you want to stop acid reflux, stop acid secretion. This is one of the most effect ways to treat reflux symptoms is to actually stop acid secretion in the stomach. Constant irritation such as pain in the abdomen and inner lining of the esophagus is often the main symptom of acid reflux, and this is why some people resort to surgery. In many cases, drugs are able to eliminate symptoms, but in other cases a doctor may recommend surgery. Let's take a look at the suitability, benefits, methods, and preparations of acid reflux surgery.

When Am I A Candidate For Surgery?

Doctor's Recommendation - Your doctor may recommend acid reflux surgery if initial treatments for acid reflux surgery has not worked and symptoms have continued to persist. Furthermore, you might want to consider surgery if you don't want to be on medication for life (when that option is recommended).

Ineffective Medication - Doctors will also sometimes find that their patients are unable to keep up with their medication and so may suggest a permanent solution such as surgery. Finally, severe damage in the esophagus will often require surgery.

Medical Tests - Of course, your doctor will always perform tests before pushing through with surgery. Surgery is often aimed at repairing the stomach valve so that acid is blocked from leaking into the esophagus. Your current condition will often be considered and if you are deemed fit enough for surgery, then a procedure can be performed.

What Are The Benefits Of Surgery?

Less Discomfort - Almost all patients that undergo surgery for acid reflux end up free of heartburn. More than half of all patients who undergo surgery also end up being cured from respiratory symptoms like asthma caused by acid reflux. And if you developed Barrett's esophagus due to the condition, surgery is considered the only treatment that blocks both acid reflux and bile. And because bile reflux is an acid reflux complication that can cause cancer, surgery is definitely advantageous. Furthermore, surgery is performed on children who have severe acid reflux complications, experienced severe side effects from medication, and had no improvement from medication.

What Are The Methods Of Acid Reflux Surgery?

Two Common Methods - The common methods used include fundoplication and Intraluminal endoscopic acid reflux surgery. When a surgeon performs fundoplication, the walls of your esophagus will be tightened to increase pressure by the lower esophageal sphincter. This means that acid from the stomach will have a harder time regurgitating upwards. On the other hand, Intraluminal endoscopic acid reflux surgery apply the same method but this time with the use of an endoscope.

These methods are known to be the most effective and the safest to use. Recovery time after surgery is often quick and patients are able to go home right away with optimum results.

After Surgery - Coping after having acid reflux surgery is not a daunting task. You will simply be required to do some light exercises at home and gradually add solid foods to your diet over the course of a few days. Medication is often no longer needed and pain is usually very mild within the first few days after surgery. If there is some discomfort or pain after surgery that's concerning, don't hesitate to call your doctor.
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