GERD Treatment Options
Severe acid reflux and GERD can usually be controlled with a combination of medication and diet changes in consultation with your doctor. When symptoms are severe and don’t respond to medical treatment, surgery may be necessary. Surgery for GERD is called Nissen fundoplication. It may be complete or partial. The surgeon uses minimally invasive techniques to wrap the upper part of the stomach around the lower end of the esophagus and stitch it into place. This prevents stomach acid from moving back into the esophagus.
Hiatal Hernia Treatment Options
Most people can control the symptoms of hiatal hernia with medication and changes in diet to reduce symptoms. If symptoms worsen or the herniated area becomes squeezed, surgery may become necessary. Laparoscopic surgery is the treatment of choice for hiatal hernia repair. Using 4-6 small incisions, the surgeon will reduce the size of the opening (hiatus) in the diaphragm and pull the stomach completely back into the abdomen.
Sometimes people have both hiatal hernias and GERD. Both of these can be surgically treated during the same minimally invasive surgical procedure.
The laparoscopic approaches for GERD and for hiatal hernia are less invasive than traditional surgery and may offer several advantages:
- Small incisions and little scarring
- Less risk of infection
- Less pain
- Shorter hospital stay
- More rapid recovery
In many cases you will be able to reduce or eliminate medications and go back to eating some or all of the foods you once avoided.