Anti-reflux surgery aims to improve your acid reflux symptoms, also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or GORD. This surgery is required when medication and other solutions are not effective in treating GORD.
At Brisbane General & Obesity Surgery, we can advise you on the most appropriate treatment for your needs. We’ll explain the anti-reflux surgery options available to you and advise you on whether surgery is an appropriate option for you.
Anti-reflux surgery, or acid reflux surgery, is a surgery to correct acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion. Acid reflux occurs when the acid from your stomach passes into your oesophagus.
It is normal to occasionally get acid reflux or heartburn from time to time. However, when it occurs frequently enough to cause significant discomfort, injury to the lining of the oesophagus or changes that can potentially lead to esophageal cancer, treatment is warranted.
Surgery is not typically prescribed for GORD sufferers unless all other options have been exhausted. Initial treatment should always be with anti-acid medication. However, when medication and lifestyle changes are inadequate at controlling acid reflux symptoms and damage is occurring to the oesophagus, anti-reflux surgery may be indicated to control symptoms, prevent further damage, or allow potentially cancerous change to regress.
This surgery is extremely effective in controlling acid reflux and the majority of patients will come off anti-acid medication one month after surgery.
Anti-reflux surgery is generally very well tolerated and many patients will be ready for discharge after one night in hospital. You will be discharged on a modified diet for a month, moving from liquid to a puree diet, then puree diet to a soft diet.
Most patients will be off work for two weeks, and it is recommended that you do not do any heavy lifting for at least six weeks. Many people will simply take Panadol for pain relief, with some needing a few doses of stronger painkillers for the first few days.
Serious complications are rare, but some patients experience swallowing difficulties, gas bloating and passage of flatus after surgery. Injury to other organs, particularly the spleen and major bleeding are rare.
The vagus nerves which control acidity and motility for the stomach can potentially be injured causing slow gastric emptying. Hiatal hernias or reflux symptoms can potentially recur over time and there is a chance that anti-reflux medication may be required again in the future. Some people can experience dumping symptoms (diarrhoea after eating).
If you need anti-reflux surgery in Brisbane, we can assist you. If you are experiencing serious pain or have any major concerns, we recommend you book a consultation as soon as possible or see a doctor promptly.
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