Surgery for GERD

How successful is surgery for GERD | What is it?

GERD stands for Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease, which is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal diseases. Physicians characterize it by the reflux of gastrointestinal content, which may cause related complications. The most typical disease symptoms are acid regurgitation of sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, a sensation of a lump in the throat, and heartburn. There may be dysphagia, cough, pain from the non-cardiac origin, and asthma, in addition to these symptoms. Primary treatments of the condition are mostly lifestyle changes and non-surgical therapy. However, surgery for GERD also proves to be effective.

It is important to address GERD because it is related to several other related health conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, erosive esophagitis.

Cause of GERD

When we swallow the food, it goes down the esophagus, and the sphincter at the ending point of the esophagus relaxes to allow food to enter the stomach. Following this, the sphincter closes up to keep the content inside the abdomen. However, if the sphincter abnormally relaxes or it gets weak, stomach acid is most likely to reflux into the esophagus. Consequently, such a backwash inflames the inner lining and irritates it, which calls for surgery for GERD.

Some of the GERD risk factors for include pregnancy, scleroderma, and other connective tissue disorders, hiatal hernia or upper stomach bulging into the diaphragm, and delayed stomach emptying.


Treatment of GERD

Prior and firsthand medical therapy for GERD is pharmacotherapy. Mostly the prescription includes histamine-receptor antagonists, antacids, and Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy. The patients who suffer from the condition very often or are suffering from related severe conditions are further recommended for surgery for GERD. This is the point where laparoscopy and bariatric surgery comes in. Laparoscopic gastrointestinal surgery in Pakistan is considered to be the best approach to treat the ailment.

There are several types of GERD surgeries, such as fundoplication, Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF), Stretta Procedure, Bard EndoCinch system, and Linx surgery. Whatever the type is, any surgery for GERD can be referred to as fundoplication surgery.

Pros & Cons of the surgery 

So far, the surgery is a good option because it helps avoid long-term medications and reduces post-operative pain, which would prevent related health complications.

Reposts show no such cons about the surgery procedure for GERD. However,  the costs may be very high, or you may have to observe post-operative care for about 14 days. Though, it all depends upon the type of surgery.

Moreover, reports indicate 95% success of anti-acid fundoplication surgery. It relieves the symptoms to the extent of patient satisfaction. However, 10-20% may continue to have the symptoms. Of these patients, 3%-6% of patients may have to go for a second surgery for GERD.