We all get heartburn from time to time. But when mild heartburn occurs at least twice a week (or more intense heartburn at least one time per week), you may want to talk to your physician. Frequent heartburn may be diagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux disease – “GERD” for short.
While many people with GERD are able to manage their symptoms through over-the-counter medications and diet and exercise changes, some patients may require more advanced care, such as the type of anti-reflux surgery offered by Dr. Waheeda Mithani, board-certified general surgeon at Mithani MD.
What are my options for acid reflux?
Before discussing surgery, your doctor may suggest antacids, which can help neutralize stomach acid. Your doctor may also recommend drugs to block acid production altogether. If these medications are unsuccessful (or if you and your doctor decide not to pursue various medical therapies), you may be a candidate for anti-reflux surgery.
How do I know if I need GERD surgery?
Anti-reflux surgery may be recommended for patients whose GERD symptoms cause:
- Chest pain and/or burning sensation in the chest (especially after eating; typically worse at night)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling of a “lump” in the throat
- Bloating or nausea
These acid reflux symptoms may cause additional troubles, such as difficulty sleeping, asthma, chronic pain in the throat, or even precancerous changes of the esophagus.
How does antireflux surgery work?
Technically known as “fundoplication,” antireflux surgery is a procedure done to prevent stomach acid from coming up the esophagus. During the procedure, Dr. Mithani will repair any hiatal hernias (bulges that put pressure on the esophagus). Next, she wraps the upper part of the stomach in a way that helps prevent acid reflux from occurring in the future.
As a board-certified general surgeon with special training in minimally invasive techniques, Dr. Mithani uses a laparoscopic approach to this procedure. With this approach, the entire procedure can be done through small incisions on the abdomen.
What results can I expect?
Following laparoscopic antireflux surgery, patients may stay at the hospital for approximately one to two days. A laparoscopic approach is associated with lower risk of postoperative bleeding, scarring, and infection (compared to traditional open GERD surgery).
You will gradually increase your diet and activity level in the days and weeks following surgery.
GERD surgery tends to be a highly successful procedure with many patients experiencing complete elimination or significant reduction of symptoms. Long-term side effects are rare.
Schedule an Antireflux Surgery Consultation Today
For more information about minimally invasive GERD surgery with Dr. Mithani, please call (409) 721-5150. You can also schedule your appointment online. Dr. Mithani serves patients in Port Arthur, Beaumont, and surrounding areas throughout Southeast Texas, including Jefferson County, Nederland, Groves, Port Neches and Bridge City.