Over 106 million Americans suffer from chronic heartburn at least once a month. Heartburn is caused by a variety of reasons including weakness in muscle tone at the base of the esophagus. Contrary to popular belief, acid-depressing drugs are not always the answer for heartburn relief. In many cases, severe or persistent heartburn is caused by food intolerance or something more serious, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), an ulcer or cancer.
If medications and lifestyle changes fail to control or reduce your symptoms or if you do not want to be dependent on medication for the rest of your life, you may be a candidate for surgery to correct your reflux problem. The specialists at SouthCoast Health Surgery perform a surgery called Nissen fundoplication, better known as antireflux surgery. This surgery is used to strengthen the natural valve that keeps stomach acid where it belongs – in your stomach, not your throat. When this valve isn’t functioning properly, that’s what causes acid to “back up” and create the painful burning sensations of heartburn.
Although this surgery has become more common over the past several years, Dr. Mandel has the advanced training necessary to perform the Nissen procedure laparoscopically. This means that, instead of a large incision that takes weeks to heal, you’ll have only tiny (approximately 1/4- to 1/2-inch) incisions that heal much more quickly and more comfortably. Most patients go home the morning after surgery and return to work in under one week. This minimally invasive approach has resulted in a 95% success rate at 10 years.
Visit our Patient Education Guide to learn more about Heartburn Relief.