Almost everyone has occasional heartburn - that burning feeling in your chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that transports food from your mouth to your stomach.
Certain foods and medications, alcohol and pregnancy can trigger heartburn. Some people - more than 56 million - have heartburn once a month. And more than 14 million people have it every day.
Lifestyle changes and medications can help. But when they don't, or when medication is needed every day, fundoplication surgery may be a better option.
Laparoscopic fundoplication, a minimally invasive procedure, is most common. But it's not appropriate for everyone - particularly those who are obese or who have had previous abdominal surgery. Our vast laparoscopic experience will help us determine the best treatment. Our surgeons have specialized in minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedures since 1991 when the technology was first available.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include less pain, a faster recovery and better cosmetic results. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) and Hidden Scar Laparoscopy/Micro Laparoscopy (Micro) options are also available, offering smaller and often hidden incisions as well as fewer visible scars and reduced post-operative pain. Most patients will stay in the hospital overnight after surgery; some patients may need to stay in the hospital for more than one night.
Eighty percent of patients who have fundoplication have complete relief of symptoms and no longer need medication.
The surgeons of Rex Surgical Specialists are experienced in procedures to help heartburn patients whose best option is surgery. The video below explains how Fundoplication Surgery at Rex helped one Raleigh woman with her GERD when other heartburn treatment methods were ineffective.
For more information on heartburn and treatment options, visit the Rex Heartburn Center.