Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - Surgery
Surgery may be used to treat
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms that
have not been well controlled by medicines.
be an option when:
- Medicines don't completely
relieve symptoms, and the remaining symptoms are caused
by reflux of stomach juices.
- A person doesn't want or, because of
side effects, is not able to take medicines over an extended period of
time to control GERD symptoms.
- Along with reflux, a person has symptoms such as asthma,
hoarseness, or cough that do not adequately improve when treated with
The benefits of surgery need to be compared to the possible complications and new symptoms you may have after surgery. Surgery for GERD can cause problems with swallowing and burping. It can also cause extra gas in the digestive tract, which leads to bloating and passing gas (flatulence).
After surgery, you may need to have other procedures to fix these problems. Some people still have to take medicine to control their symptoms, even after surgery. And some people need to have surgery again. For more information, see:
- GERD: Which Treatment Should I Use?
Fundoplication surgery is the most
common surgery used to treat GERD. This surgery strengthens the valve between
the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter) to keep acid from
backing up into the esophagus as easily. It relieves GERD symptoms and inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis).2
Other types of surgery
for gastroesophageal reflux disease may include:
- Partial fundoplication. Partial fundoplication
involves wrapping the stomach only partway around the
esophagus. Full fundoplication involves wrapping the stomach around the
esophagus so that it completely encircles it. Most fundoplication surgery uses
the full fundoplication method.
- Gastropexy. A gastropexy attaches the stomach to
the diaphragm so that the stomach cannot move through the opening in the
diaphragm into the chest. Gastropexy is done less often than