Surgery for Heartburn

Link to Dallas Health and Image Podcast about heartburn therapy options
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 reflux of acid out of the stomach. Not every patient’s symptoms can be controlled with acid-reducing medications, and 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

Medications for GERD are designed to suppress acid production in the stomach. They do not address the cause of GERD, a weak sphincter muscle, so 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.​​​​​​​

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 (figure 1). Swallowing forces separate the beads temporarily to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach (figure 2). 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. Patients are usually able to return to non-strenuous activity within a couple of days. ​For more information, visit www.linxforlife.com

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.