Acid Reflux Procedure Details

PROCEDURE

Acid reflux is the result of stomach acid passing up into your oesophagus. When this occurs frequently, it can cause a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn) or acid in the back of your mouth. Over time and with repetition, this acid can also cause the lining of your oesophagus to become inflamed (oesophagitis) or scar.

Acid reflux (or fundoplication) surgery involves Dr Balalis stitching your diaphragm to reduce the size of the area your oesophagus can pass through.
The top part of your stomach is then carefully wrapped and stitched around the lower oesophagus to create a valve-like effect.

Dr Balalis performs acid reflux surgery in hospital under a general anaesthetic. The surgery usually takes between one and two hours, and in most instances, you will be able to go home the day of or the day following your surgery.

BENEFITS

Acid reflux surgery helps improve the symptoms of acid reflux in both the chest and mouth.

Provided surgery goes well, you should experience significant improvement of symptoms and eliminate the need for any ongoing medication.

SUITABILITY

Acid reflux surgery is beneficial if you do not respond to medication, experience side effects from anti-acid medications, or prefer to undergo surgery than take medication on a lifelong basis.

Are you considering acid reflux surgery? The best way to determine whether this is your most suitable option is to discuss it with Dr Balalis. He can talk you through the procedure, answer any questions you might have and provide an expert recommendation based on understanding you and your situation.

ALTERNATIVES

When considering acid reflux surgery, it’s important to consider alternative treatment options, including diet and lifestyle changes and, where applicable, medication.

Acid reflux medication helps lower levels of acid in your stomach, which helps control symptoms and promotes the healing of oesophagal inflammation.

A surgical alternative to the commonly performed fundoplication surgery is called a LINX™ procedure. This procedure involves placing magnetic beads around your oesophagus to form
a valve effect.

COMPLICATIONS

Like all surgical procedures, there are risks, and some complications are severe and, in rare cases, can cause death.

General complications to be considered with any surgical procedure are bleeding, surgical site infection, allergic reactions to medications, materials or equipment; serious kidney injury, a hernia of the scar, blood clotting (to a leg or lung), and chest infection.

Complications specific to keyhole surgery include surgical emphysema (a crackling sensation in your skin caused by trapped carbon dioxide), damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels, and developing a hernia near one of the cuts used to insert the ports and gas embolisms.

Complications specific to acid reflux surgery include pneumothorax (where air escapes into the space around your lung), a hole in your oesophagus or stomach, a stitched tear, damage to your liver, damage to your spleen and difficulty swallowing for a few months.

Additional long-term consequences may include ongoing difficulty swallowing, inability to control reflux symptoms, weight loss, abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea, an abnormal valve, a faulty valve, abnormal merging of tissue join, pain and scarring.

RECOVERY

In most instances, you will be able to leave hospital the day of or the day following your surgery.

Most people can resume work around two weeks after surgery, depending on the speed of recovery and the type of work.

Regular exercise should help you return to normal activities as soon as possible. However, it’s best to discuss this with Dr Balalis following your procedure.

PRE, POST AND DAY OF

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