Most people have heard of acid reflux. It is also commonly referred to as heartburn. Few people realize the severity of acid reflux. In some cases, acid reflux surgery becomes a necessity. It is important to understand the anatomy and causes of acid reflux in order to understand its severity.
When food is swallowed, it travels down the esophagus and through the lower esophageal sphincter into the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter is supposed to stay tightly closed when food is not passing through. Certain foods, such as chocolate, caffeine, fried foods, fatty foods, and tomato-based foods can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken. This allows for stomach contents and juices to rise up, causing the burning feeling of acid reflux. In addition, eating too much or lying down too soon after eating can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and cause it to open.
Most people who experience acid reflux will never need acid reflux surgery. Some people will suffer such severe acid reflux that it can cause inflammation of the esophagus, ulceration or scars on the esophagus, and even cancer. In these cases, acid reflux surgery is often necessary.
What is Acid Reflux Surgery?
Acid reflux surgery involves a laparoscopic procedure to wrap and suture the upper part of the stomach around the esophagus. This puts the right amount of pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter. Patients are often discharged the same day as the surgery. There are few potential complications and recovery is generally quick.
Acid reflux surgery is performed with the use of a laparoscope. This is a small video camera on the end of a thin tube. This camera is inserted through a small incision in the belly button. The abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide to inflate it so that the surgeon can see. Four other small incisions are made to insert the instruments used to perform the acid reflux surgery. The camera allows the surgeon to see the instruments. This is an easy, straightforward procedure that can relieve the pain of acid reflux.
Medications can be prescribed to lessen the occurrences of acid reflux. Acid reflux surgery is considered only when other options are exhausted. In many cases, it is necessary to avoid further complications of acid reflux. Once surgery has been performed, it is a good idea to stick to a healthy eating plan that cuts out those foods that cause acid reflux. It would be a shame to counteract the effectiveness of the acid reflux surgery.