Like most other diseases, Acid Reflux disease also has some surgical solutions when all else fails.
Typically, this happens when drug therapy fails, or the patient has severe bleeding and other physical discomforts, that indicate an invasive surgical intervention.
The standard surgical procedure that is done for Acid Reflux sufferers is called the Nissen Fundoplication.
Traditional Nissen Fundoplication, developed in the 1950s, was a longish procedure, a serious surgery that required a hospital stay of a week or more. There would be a telltale. 10-inch scar, and for the next month or more one took it easy and battled on through recovery and some pain.
The results were often slow to be seen, and many times, the patient had trouble swallowing.
Frequently, symptoms of Acid Reflux appeared to get worse.
In the last 25 years or so, laparoscopic surgery has advanced by leaps and bounds, Problems faced with the traditional operation. Have been ironed out. The overall availability of excellent pathological diagnostic tests has also contributed in a meaningful way, to a better selection of patients for surgery.
The entire surgical procedure appears to be similar to what we would do to hold down the contents of a room when faced with a high-speed flood or typhoon.
Surgery is conducted to support and strengthen the Lower Esophageal Sphincter muscle by giving it support from stomach tissue. Since the Lower Esophageal Sphincter is the gateway from the esophagus to the stomach, it is natural to consider stomach tissue, which is then stretched to work around the sphincter, and permanently fixed there, so as to give the required support.
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.
During such surgeries, sometimes, the scarring and ulceration of the Esophageal passage is also treated, Turns out that such surgery gives successful outcomes 95% of the time, to the extent that no medications are later required to be taken, daily by the patient to relieve the now non-existent Acid Reflux!