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Treating GERD/Reflux with Surgery

A reflux – also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or “GERD” – occurs when our bodies cannot prevent acid from washing up into the esophagus like it normally should. Reflux is often associated with typical “heartburn” symptoms such as:

  • Pain just under the ribcage
  • Brackish water taste in the mouth
  • Recurrent sore throats
  • Rapid airway diseases such as asthma. 

Common risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
  • Eating large meals right before bed
  • Consuming certain food/drinks such as alcohol, caffeine, high-fat foods, or spicy foods

How can surgery help me?

A hole in the diaphragm, called a hiatus, allows the esophagus to poke down into the abdominal cavity. Over time, the stomach can start to protrude upward into the chest cavity. Reflux can exist without a hernia, but most of the time people who suffer from GERD have a slight hernia. 

During robotic surgery, the surgeon will repair an existing hiatal hernia to its appropriate size and location within the diaphragm. If necessary, the stomach is also wrapped around itself and sewn into place in order to increase resting pressure of the area of the esophagus, in turn preventing a reflux. 

Minimally Invasive Surgery at Lakeland

Minimally invasive surgery, using the da Vinci Xi ® robot, may result in less pain and quicker recovery for patients undergoing hernia surgery. The following general surgeons are specially trained to perform GERD/reflux surgery:

*Indicates da Vinci trained