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Basic Facts Relating To Reflux Surgery Tx Residents Need To Understand

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By Janet Powell

Gatsroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that affects patients of all ages and genders. Symptoms of this condition include, regurgitation of stomach juices into the esophagus and mouth, abdominal discomfort and dyspepsia (indigestion) among others. The underlying cause of this condition is a weak sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus that fails to restrict the movement of stomach contents. There are a number of important facts on reflux surgery Tx patients need to have.

The surgery is medically termed fundoplication. The main procedure here is to wrap the upper stomach portion around the lower part of the stomach and to sew it in a manner that secure it. When this is done, a small tunnel is created. The esophagus passes through this tunnel before eventually joining up with the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter is thus reinforced and the probability of regurgitation significantly reduced.

As is custom for all major operations, potential candidates have to be adequately prepared. The first step in the preparation process if to be thoroughly evaluated by the doctor so as to determine whether the operation will indeed be beneficial. A number of blood tests are sometimes necessary. They include, for instance, renal function tests and a full blood count. For a patient that is on blood thinners, the same may have to be stopped temporarily.

A number of different techniques of operation exist. The choice is determined by the physical appearance of the patient and the surgical skill of the patient among others. In general, two main methods exist: an open technique and a laparoscopic technique. The open technique is used when the patient is overweight or is found to have a short esophagus. With this approach the sphincter is accessed through the abdominal or chest region.

When the laparoscopic technique is used, three ports of entry have to be created in the abdominal wall. The ports are used for the insertion of instruments and a camera. The camera helps to capture the images from the surgical field and projects them onto a monitor. The ports of entry that are used are significantly smaller than those that are used in the open procedure. The side effects associated with laparoscopy are fewer.

The time needed for recovery depends on the technique that is employed when performing the procedure. In the case of the open technique, a couple of days have to be spent in hospital for the initial phase of recovery while the full recovery will require weeks to months. In case of laparoscopic surgery, on the other hand, one may be allowed home in about 48 hours. Resumption of the regular routine is typically in 2 to 3 weeks.

There may be a need to have some dietary changes particularly in the first few days after the surgery. Generally, one should ensure that the food chosen is soft enough. It should ideally be eaten in small quantities after being chewed thoroughly. These precautions ensure that food can pass through the esophagus in easily and does not compromise the healing process. Extraneous physical activity should be avoided.

While the majority of people experience remarkable improvement after the operation, others have only minimal benefits. In such cases, there may be a need to continue with the use of antacid medication. Another operation may be needed for some patients after a number of years. Reports of new or worsening symptoms have been reported among some patients undergoing the operation. Such may include difficulty in swallowing, flatulence and increased belching among others.

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