What Are My Surgical Options for Acid Reflux?

What Are My Surgical Options for Acid Reflux?

Reflux is a common condition that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, burning and irritating the esophageal lining. Virtually everyone has experienced occasional reflux after a big or rich meal, usually consumed close to bedtime. Occasional acid reflux can typically be resolved with lifestyle modifications. 

Chronic acid reflux, however, can affect your quality of life and make mealtime something to dread. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic reflux often sticks around — in spite of beneficial lifestyle changes. Fortunately, there are a variety of medical interventions for GERD, including three different surgical treatment options. 

At Michael Sutker, MD, in McKinney and Dallas, Texas, board-certified and fellowship-trained bariatric and general surgeon Dr. Sutker can evaluate your condition and determine if surgery is the best treatment option for your chronic acid reflux. Here’s what you should know. 

Acid reflux: Causes and treatment options

Acid reflux occurs when the valve at the bottom of your esophagus weakens or relaxes. Instead of keeping your stomach contents contained, it allows them to flow back up into your esophagus. 

Lifestyle changes — such as eating smaller meals, eating earlier, and taking over-the-counter medications such as antacids — are the first-line treatment approach for occasional acid reflux. If you still experience acid reflux two times a week or more despite these efforts, surgery may be the best next step for you.  

Surgical treatment for chronic acid reflux

Acid reflux surgery tightens your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the valve between your esophagus and your stomach. By repairing and restoring your LES, surgery aims to prevent the contents of your stomach from escaping back into your esophagus. 

The three acid reflux surgery options are:

 Nissen fundoplication

Nissen fundoplication is a common surgery for acid reflux. During this procedure, Dr. Sutker creates a new valve at the top of your stomach by wrapping an excess portion of your stomach around itself. He uses minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopy or da Vinci® robotic assistance, which means less tissue trauma and a shorter recovery time. 

LINX(r) reflux management system

The LINX® Reflux Management System is an advanced procedure that uses a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads and connected by titanium wires. Implanted around the weak LES just above the stomach, this band keeps the acidic content from flowing back into your esophagus, while allowing food and liquid to pass into your stomach. Dr. Sutker implants the LINX device using minimally invasive surgical techniques.  

Gastric bypass

Obesity is a common cause of GERD. Obesity increases the pressure within your abdomen, which can weaken your LES. Gastric bypass surgery to treat obesity also reduces the pressure that can weaken your LES, helping to reduce acid reflux events.

Are you ready to resolve chronic acid reflux?

If you have GERD and would like to learn more about the surgical treatments that can help you resolve reflux and eat normally once again, Michael Sutker, MD, can help. Call or click online to schedule a visit at your nearest office in Dallas or McKinney, Texas, today. 

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