Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Surgical Treatment Options For Acid Reflux Disease

By Frank Robson

Like most other diseases, Acid Reflux disease also has some surgical solutions when all else fails.

This surgery is normally conducted only after other treatments have proven themselves to be ineffective, such as the use of prescription medicines. Surgery is also commonly performed on patients that are experiencing high levels of pain and discomfort or who bleed severely.

The standard surgical procedure that is done for Acid Reflux sufferers is called the Nissen fundoplication.

Originally, the Nissen fundoplication was a very lengthy and serious procedure that resulted in a post surgery stay at the hospital of at least one week, not to mention a ten inch scar.

In the early days of this surgery, patients often developed worsening symptoms of acid reflux and had difficulty swallowing.

Laparoscopic surgery has made great progress technologically in the past twenty-five years. Patients are now chosen for surgery in a more efficient manner, using a pathological diagnostic test. Most problems that doctors originally had to deal with when performing this surgery have been resolved.

The surgery can be compared to what you might do to prevent the contents of a room from being washed away by a typhoon or flash flood.

The Lower Esophageal Sphincter is like a door between the esophagus and the stomach. It is this sphincter muscle that is made stronger by surgery. Surrounding the sphincter with permanently attached stomach tissue provides the necessary support that the muscle needs to function properly.

Next, the hiatal hernia, or the stomach portion protruding upwards from below the diaphragm is pushed back down into place. The Hiatal hernia sac is pulled below the diaphragm and firmly attached and stitched there.. The strengthening of the Esophageal sphincter, and fixing of any possible hiatal hernia serves to reduce the overall abdominal pressure. All this essentially provides a great defense against possible backflows of gastric juice-laden food mixtures.

The esophageal passage must sometimes be cared for because of ulceration and scarring. Surgery of this sort boasts a success rate of 95% and keeps the patient from needing to take other medications to alleviate the once terrible pain of acid reflux.

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