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GERD and Hiatal Hernia

GERD and Hiatal HerniaGastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a condition where digestive acid from the stomach regurgitates into the food pipe causing uneasiness and heartburn. The primary cause for this condition may be a hiatus hernia which prevents the muscular fibers in the stomach from closing thus allowing the stomach to slide above into the chest and lead to flow of digestive acid into the food pipe. The risk factors of suffering from this condition include obesity or a congenital defect or in pregnancy among others.

At CODS, this procedure can be performed by conventional laparoscopy but you can also opt for the single incision method which you can read about here.

Know the symptoms

If you experience more than one of these symptoms it's likely that medical intervention is required.

GERD and Hiatal Hernia symptoms
  • Burning sensation in the stomach
  • Heartburn in the lower part of the chest
  • The sudden presence of food in the mouth without vomiting
  • An acidic sensation in the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Hoarseness in voice
  • Frequent throat irritation and infections
  • Difficulty in swallowing and chronic coughing

Surgery step-by-step

  • Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery (commonly referred to as Laparoscopic Fundoplication) involves reinforcing the “valve” between the esophagus and the stomach by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lowest portion of the esophagus – much the way a bun wraps around a hot dog.
  • In a laparoscopic procedure, surgeons use cannulas (narrow tube like instruments) to enter the abdomen. The laparoscope, which is connected to a tiny video camera, is inserted through the small incision, giving the surgeon a magnified view of the patient’s internal organs on a television screen.
  • After the abdomen is expanded by inflating gas into it the entire operation is performed “inside”. The entire procedure lasts 45 minutes.


What are the advantages of laparoscopic treatment of GERD?

The advantage of the laparoscopic approach is that it usually provides:

  • Reduced post-operative pain
  • Minimal or no visible scars
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster return to work

What sort of preparation is required prior to surgery?

  • Depending on your age and medical condition you may need to have blood work, medical evaluations, chest x-rays and an EKG performed.
  • You may be requested to drink clear liquids for one or several days prior to surgery.
  • You should have nothing to eat or drink for approximately 6 hours before the examination.

What happens after the surgery?

  • You will be asked to get out of bed and move around a few hours after the surgery has been performed.
  • You may be discharged the next day after the procedure.
  • You may experience some discomfort while swallowing initially which may last from a few days to a month
  • You are encouraged to engage in light activity while at home after surgery.
  • Post-operative pain is generally mild although some patients may require prescription pain medication.