Anti-reflux Surgery: A Safe Option for GERD Patients

Nov 14, 2022
Anti-reflux Surgery: A Safe Option for GERD Patients
Anti-reflux surgery is a safe option if you’re experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of GERD. Relieving GERD keeps you comfortable, improves your well-being, and reduces your risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus. Read more to find out how.

Most adults in the United States experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at least once a month. GERD occurs when stomach juices flow backward into your esophagus. Heartburn is a common symptom of GERD, along with coughing, wheezing, and chest pain.

Anti-reflux esophageal surgery can permanently resolve GERD and its symptoms. Board-certified esophageal surgery specialists at Lenox Hill Surgeons, LLP in Manhattan, provide effective, minimally invasive techniques to treat serious esophageal conditions, including robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery.

What is GERD?

When you eat, food passes through a tube called the esophagus on its way from your mouth to your stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter, also known as the LES, is a small muscle ring at the lower end of your esophagus that opens to allow food to enter your stomach. It typically closes as soon as you swallow to prevent the highly acidic stomach juices from flowing backward into the esophagus.

GERD occurs when the LES valve malfunctions, causing acid to flow backward and burn the lower esophagus. The acids cause irritation and inflammation in your esophagus, which can eventually lead to damage. 

Constant contact with acidic stomach juices can cause cell changes in the lining of the lower esophagus. This is called Barrett's esophagus, and having it increases your risk of developing cancer there.

What Causes GERD?

There are many reasons you might experience GERD, including: 

  • Having a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES)
  • Eating fatty foods
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Having a very full stomach
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Taking certain medicines
  • Wearing tight clothing
  • Bending over or lying down after eating

GERD may cause a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the top of your stomach bulges through to your chest. Fortunately, our surgeons can also fix this issue with anti-reflux surgery before it becomes a problem.

What is anti-reflux surgery for GERD?

If lifestyle modifications and medication don’t help, or if you want to stop taking medication for GERD, surgery may be an option. Surgery is a highly effective treatment.

Robotic and laparoscopic surgery are minimally invasive procedures that our Lenox Hill surgeons frequently use to treat severe esophageal conditions.

Our experts use the innovative da Vinci® system with robotic assistance, allowing them to operate incredibly precise robotic arms that thread tiny surgical instruments and a tiny camera through the incisions.

To restore your esophagus, surgeons can remove tissue, rebuild the damaged areas, or carry out other repairs, depending on the condition.

Robotic surgery results in less bleeding and pain, and you can frequently have esophageal procedures on the same day.

Is anti-reflux surgery for you?

If you’re considering anti-reflux surgery for GERD, call to speak to a Lenox Hill specialist today to learn more about your treatment options.