Millions of Americans suffer from chronic heartburn, which is usually a symptom of gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD. It is due to the acid from the stomach refluxing up into the esophagus. It is often frequent enough to have a significant impact on the individual's quality of life by keeping him from enjoying certain foods or even keeping him up at night. It can also sometimes lead to serious conditions such as asthma, burning of the esophagus (esophagitis), and even cancer of the esophagus.
Surgery provides a definitive treatment for patients suffering from reflux and allows them to avoid a lifetime of taking various drugs. The anti-reflux surgery is called "Nissen fundoplication" and consists of wrapping part of the stomach around the lowest part of the esophagus in order to stop the reflux. The surgery also repairs the hernia ("hiatal hernia") that is usually present and that is responsible for making GERD symptoms worse.
At Surgical Associates, we frequently evaluate patients with chronic GERD who are not getting good symptom relief with medication, as well as patients looking for a permanent cure of their GERD so they do not have to take medications for the rest of their life. We frequently obtain some special esophageal pressure and reflux studies which can be done here at Virginia Hospital Center and coordinated thru our offices.
We perform anti-reflux surgery and hiatal hernia repair using minimally invasive or laparoscopic techniques with only a few very small incisions (less than a quarter inch in size). Occasionally, this can be also done using robotic surgery. Patients may spend at the most one night in the hospital, but frequently may go home the same day. Surgery is usually highly effective and leads to high patient satisfaction.
TIF is a new entirely incisionless procedure that may be an option for some select patients who suffer from GERD. A unique form of "Natural Orifice Surgery”, TIF represents the next step in the evolution of minimally invasive surgery. Because the TIF procedure is performed entirely through the patient's mouth, or "transorally" in medical terms, there are no abdominal incisions in the skin and the recovery is very quick.
Similar to laparoscopic GERD surgery, TIF is used to treat the underlying anatomical cause of GERD by reconstructing the barrier between the stomach and esophagus to prevent stomach fluids from refluxing up into the esophagus, resulting in the effective elimination of GERD.
More info on Anti-Reflux Surgery:
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Dr. Mayes graduated medical school at the University of Chicago in 1979. He completed...
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