Surgery Options for GERD

GERD is a health condition caused by acid reflux. It can sometimes be treated through diet and medication. However, if it is left untreated, it can cause tissue damage and an increased risk of esophageal cancer. There are surgeries that can cure this problem but, as with any surgery, you should consult your doctor and consider your options carefully before going ahead.

When to Consider Surgery

Surgery may be considered by your doctor if it is causing you to have ulcers or difficulty swallowing. If you are living in an assisted living facility such as McKnight Place, the medical staff will be able to help you with other options such as diet and general advice. Surgery is usually the last resort, and your doctor will not suggest it until you have tried diet, exercise, and medication to no avail.

Fundoplication

This is the most popular surgical treatment for GERD. It involves wrapping the stomach around the outside of the lower esophagus to strengthen the sphincter. The surgeon will make a long incision in your stomach or several smaller ones if surgery is carried out by laparoscopic surgery. Smaller instruments are used for this to make the surgery less invasive. This surgery has a good success rate.

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)

This procedure is used if fundoplication can’t be carried out. It involves creating a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus to prevent reflux. The good news with this type of surgery is that there are no incisions made so your recovery time won’t involve waiting for wounds to heal. This may mean that it is your preference for surgery.

Stretta Procedure

This is an outpatient procedure that is performed with an endoscope. An electrode is used to make small incisions in your esophagus, which forms scar tissue that blocks the nerves that control your acid reflux and strengthens your surrounding muscles. This is a brand-new procedure so there hasn’t been a lot of research into the long-term effects of this treatment yet.

Linx Surgery

This is also a rather new procedure, but the results so far look promising. A linx is a ring of little metallic beads that strengthen the sphincter. It works because the magnetic force of the beads makes them move together and this keeps the opening between the stomach and esophagus closed. This is worth considering because it doesn’t affect the way your food is processed and there is a relatively short recovery time because the invasive surgery is kept to a minimum. This in turn means that it can be less painful than other options.

Bard EndoCinch System

This is another procedure option that your doctor might discuss with you. However, many health insurances don’t cover this treatment so you will need to check your policy before you sign up for it. It is not a common procedure, and it involves using an endoscope to create pleats that should solve your GERD.

These are the six main surgery options for GERD. You should discuss these with your doctor and get some professional advice before you go ahead.