Many people suffer from acid reflux, heartburn, and other problems associated with the esophagus. These common conditions can usually be treated with medication. However, for some patients, surgery may be the best treatment option.
Acid reflux is a condition in which stomach contents (acid, bile, food) leak back into the esophagus, irritating it and causing a burning sensation or pain ("heartburn"). For most patients, this is worse after meals, but for some it can happen at any time of the day or night and result in complications. When lifestyle modifications and medications are inadequate and surgery is necessary, a procedure may be performed to create a new valve. Operations include the Nissen fundoplication, Toupet fundoplication, and other related procedures. Surgery is usually performed laproscopically using several tiny "keyhole" incisions, which reduces postoperative pain, recovery time, and complications. Most patients that have this operation can stop taking heartburn medications after surgery.
Achalasia is another disease of the esophagus, one in which the esophageal motility (movement) is abnormal. Achalasia may present with difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, or chest pain. Treatments include dilation of the esophagus (under endoscopic or xray monitoring) and surgery to open up the narrowed area (laparoscopic esophagomyotomy). Surgery can be performed laparoscopically, using small "keyhole" incisions, and patients are usually able to be discharged home within 2-3 days. This operation is best performed by surgeons experienced in advanced laparoscopic GI procedures.
If you are having problems with chronic heartburn, hiatal hernia, achalasia, or other esophageal problems, there is treatment available at TOA Surgical Specialists. Please call our office to find out how our experienced surgical specialists can help.
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