Acid reflux is one of the most common health disorders the most people suffer from. In fact, most people mistake acid reflux as a normal occurrence especially if someone just ate too much. They mistake the vomiting instances as normal manifestations of the stomach trying to digest too much food or as a signal that it is empty and is in need of food to digest. What they don't know is that acid reflux is a serious condition that in some cases might need surgery.
Acid reflux basically manifests or occurs when the acids in the stomach abnormally flow backward into the esophagus. Acid reflux is normally attributed to weak or deteriorated LES or the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. The LES is the one responsible for keeping the acids from entering your stomach. Thus, a weak LES will most likely allow the acids to penetrate and enter your esophagus causing acid reflux. Symptoms of acid reflux include;
While these symptoms may just manifest for a few minutes, a more serious case of acid reflux which is called GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease may cause worse and longer manifestation of these symptoms. Normally, Acid Reflux and GERD can be treated by lifestyle changes and some over-the-counter medicines such as Gaviscon and other antacids that can help support and strengthen the LES. However, in worst cases, patients with severe GERD may require surgery in order for the patient to be relieved of these symptoms. To further elaborate, here are 5 things you should know about acid reflux surgery.
- Surgery is the last option
As mentioned above, GERD is normally treated by lifestyle and diet changes along with over-the-counter medicines. However, is the symptoms still persist or worsen, then you might want to consult a doctor which will ultimately advise you to undergo surgery for acid reflux.
- Nissen Fundoplication
Nissen fundoplication is the most common and popular surgery for patients suffering from GERD. This procedure aims to strengthen your LES by wrapping the top of your stomach around your lower esophagus. Fundoplication can be done via open surgery which involves the surgeon making large and wide cuts on your stomach or via the less invasive laparoscopic surgery which involves the surgeon making small cuts while inserting special gadgets to assist in the strengthening of your LES.
- Preparation for Surgery
Basically, preparation for surgery depends on the condition of your body and the surgeon. However, normally, the doctor will want you to undergo a clear liquid diet for a few days in order for them to clearly access your stomach. You may also be required to take certain medication the day before the surgery and to stop eating on the day of your surgery.
- Cost of Surgery
Surgery for GERD varies depending on the kind of procedure you will have. However, generally, without medical insurance and other discount options, you will have to shell out $ 1,500 $ 5000 for your surgery. But of course, if you have medical insurance and other similar medical packages then these prices can be significantly lowered.
Recovery after acid reflux surgery mainly depends on whether you had a laparoscopic or traditional surgery. Generally, laparoscopic surgeries will only require you to rest for a few days before you can recover. On the other hand, traditional surgeries will take you at least a week for recovery.