Surgery for Heartburn

Heartburn or acid reflux is a significant problem for many people and can cause a substantial decrease in quality of life. A weakening of the valve at the top of the stomach or a hiatal hernia may lead to the reflux of acid out of the stomach. Usually, your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) acts like a one-way valve, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach while preventing stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. In people with reflux, the LES fails to prevent harmful acid and bile from flowing back into the esophagus.
Reflux medications are designed to reduce acid production in the stomach. Pills do not address the cause of reflux, and not every patient’s symptoms can be controlled with acid-reducing medications. Surgery may be indicated to correct the problem permanently.​​​​​ ​

Pre-operative planning typically involves evaluation by a gastroenterologist. Testing may include pH studies to measure the amount of acid in the esophagus, manometry to measure the function of the esophagus, swallow studies to evaluate for a hiatal hernia, and upper endoscopy (EGD) to assess for inflammation of the stomach and esophagus.

LINX Reflux Management System

Linx reflux management system closes the weak esophageal sphincter
Linx reflux management system allows food to pass
Medications for GERD do not reduce reflux. They merely reduce the acidity of the reflux. Since they do not address the cause of GERD which is a weak sphincter muscle, they can't prevent reflux. Approximately 40% of GERD sufferers continue to have symptoms while taking medications for heartburn. ​​​​​LINX® is a revolutionary solution for GERD proven to eliminate dependence on medication and improve quality of life.​​​​​​​​​​ The beauty of this quarter-sized device is it does exactly what your failing LES is supposed to do — prevent stomach acid from entering your esophagus.​​​​​​​​
LINX® is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads connected by Titanium wires. LINX® is implanted around the weak esophageal sphincter, just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads keeps the weak esophageal sphincter closed to help prevent reflux. Swallowing forces the ring of beads to temporarily expand to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach. LINX® is implanted laparoscopically in a minimally invasive procedure that typically takes less than one hour. Patients generally go home within one day and are encouraged to return to a regular diet as soon as tolerated as directed by their physician. LINX is designed to start 
working the moment the device is implanted. Patients are usually able to return to non-strenuous activity within a couple of days. ​Unlike other procedures to treat reflux, LINX is inserted around the outside of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and requires no alteration to the stomach. LINX preserves normal physiological function, so you can belch or vomit as needed. The titanium beads open and close to let food down during meals and open and close to let food up if the need to vomit arises. 99% of patients report that bothersome regurgitation was eliminated after treatment with LINX. 88% of LINX patients also reported that heartburn had been eliminated after treatment, and 85 % of patients were
free from dependence on daily reflux medication. The device will not affect airport security, and you can still have an MRI. LINX is constructed with permanent magnets and titanium which means that LINX is designed for a lifetime of relief. 

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Nissen Fundoplication

Nissen fundoplication anti-reflux surgery involves creating a new valve at the top of the stomach to prevent the reflux of acid into the esophagus. Your surgeon accomplishes this new valve by wrapping the excess portion of the stomach around itself. This surgery will allow food to pass through the esophagus in the stomach but prevent acids from going up. Patients will expect to get significant relief immediately, and most patients can stop their anti-reflux medication. This procedure can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, either with traditional laparoscopy or with daVinci robotic assistance. Patients will expect to stay in the hospital 1-2 nights. Patients remain on a pureed or soft food diet for about 2-4 weeks to allow the inflammation from the surgery to subside. Once recovery is complete, you will be able to a normal diet without restriction.


Acid Reflux Seminar

Dallas Health & Image Podcast

Link to Dallas Health and Image Podcast about heartburn therapy options