Nissen Fundoplication — The Gold Standard Surgery For Severe GERD
For those who suffer moderate to severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux, a surgical procedure called Nissen fundoplication is the established gold standard approach. The safest and most efficient way to perform this surgery is with the da Vinci Surgical System—a robotic surgical tool available for outpatient surgery only at the Heartburn and Acid Reflux Center.
Robotic surgery is the most advanced approach for minimally invasive surgery. The da Vinci Si—the very latest version of the system—gives surgeons unequalled precision and control over their surgical instruments. Using a 3D high-definition camera, the surgeon is able to see the surgical site better than with the naked eye. The da Vinci Si allows surgeons to perform the procedure more quickly and safely, with fewer complications, less blood loss and pain, minimal to no scarring—and faster return to your normal life.
GERD, or acid reflux, refers to bile or stomach acid that backs up into your esophagus, inflaming or irritating the esophageal lining. Symptoms include the burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn, irritation in the throat, and chronic cough. Bile backs up out of the stomach when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the junction between the esophagus and the stomach, fails to close properly and block the acid.
Nissen fundoplication surgery is an option for GERD patients when medications and lifestyle changes don’t relieve symptoms. It is also an option for patients who cannot, or don’t, want to take medications. Long-term use of antacids is known to have side effects, including osteoporosis, low magnesium levels, and susceptibility to infectious colitis (all established by the FDA). Surgery may also be in order if you have persistent symptoms such as asthma, hoarseness, dental erosions or cough combined with GERD that don’t improve sufficiently when treated with medicines. It is also used to treat GERD symptoms associated with a hiatal hernia.
During fundoplication surgery using the da Vinci robot, the surgeon makes tiny incisions no larger than a dime, and inserts surgical instruments to wrap the top of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This technique reinforces the LES, reducing the likelihood that acid will back up into the esophagus.