According to Bharat Bhise, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or severe acid reflux is a chronic condition where stomach acid flows backward into your esophagus. This can cause many symptoms including heartburn, chest pain, and trouble swallowing. Let’s check out a few surgical treatment methods for treating this disease.
- Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) – With TIF a barrier is constructed between the esophagus and your stomach. The barrier prevents acid reflux and the best thing about this procedure is that it doesn’t require incisions. Instead, an EsophysX is inserted through your mouth, and it creates numerous folds at the esophagus base.
People usually opt for this type of surgery when regular GERD medication doesn’t relieve serious symptoms and the patient wants a less invasive surgical procedure. To prepare for this surgery you’ll need to go on a liquid diet 2 days before the surgery and not eat anything on the day of the surgery. You’ll also need to take medications to cleanse your bowels before the surgery.
- Fundoplication – This is the most standard surgical procedure to treat GERD. in this process, the LES(lower esophageal sphincter) is tightened and reinforced. This is done by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the exterior of the lower esophagus. The surgery has a high rate of long-term success. However, it is more invasive than TIF. The preparation for the surgery is the same as TIF. However, there may be some differences depending on your medical history.
- Linx surgery – In this surgical procedure, a special device known as Linx is used to tighten and strengthen the LES. The Linx is made up of very small magnetic beads made of titanium alloy. The ring of magnetic beads wraps around the LES and keeps the gap between the esophagus and your stomach closed.
It allows food to pass through and prevents stomach acid from flowing back. This procedure is similar to TIF since it doesn’t require any incision. In fact, it is the least invasive surgery and has a shorter recovery period compared to traditional procedures like Fundoplication.
- Stretta procedure – Done with an endoscope, the stretta procedure is usually an outpatient procedure. A flexible and thin tube is inserted into your esophagus and an electrode attached to the end of the tube is used to create tiny cuts in the esophageal tissue.
This forms scar tissue in the esophagus which blocks out nerves that react to acid reflux. Moreover, the scar tissue strengthens the muscles surrounding it. While this procedure can eliminate or reduce the symptoms of acid reflux, it’s a fairly new one that has unknown long-term results. However, it is cheaper than traditional procedures like fundoplication.
Bharat Bhise suggests that you only consider surgery when you have some serious GERD symptoms. Opt for regular medication and other treatments and have surgery as a last resort. Even the simplest surgeries come with many risks. That’s why you should consult your doctor before you proceed with the surgery.