Heartburn Remedies

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I Think I Burned My Esophagus

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General and Gastrointestinal Surgery

Side effects of anti-reflux surgery are related to the creation of a valve at the lower esophageal sphincter where none previously existed.

These may include:

  • Difficult, painful swallowing that may last up to three months, but is usually gone in 4 to 6 weeks. It may be associated with pain in the shoulder as well. Although liquids usually go down without any difficulty, some people may experience problems with them.
  • Getting "" easily since there is less stomach to hold food and liquids. Even a few bites can give the sensation of being full. This takes a few months to resolve in almost all patients. Meal size should be normal by six months. If a person eats less and gets full quickly, it stands to reason he or she will lose weight. Following anti-reflux surgery, patients can expect to lose 10 to 20 pounds. This resolves in a few months.
  • The inability to vomit because the valve stops the regurgitation of material from the stomach into the esophagus. Should  a patient get food poisoning, get the flu, or drink too much alcohol, he or she will feel sicker longer than others and may have more epigastric abdominal pain. This shouldn''t find it problematic.

Failure Rate

The failure rate for anti-reflux surgery performed by surgeons with experience in the procedure and in the management of patients with GERD, is about 10% at 10 years. These results are from studies involving anti-reflux procedures performed with the conventional abdominal incision. Although the 1 last update 04 Jun 2020 10-year follow-up studies with the laparoscopic approach are not yet possible, five year follow-up results with the laparoscopic approach are similar to those observed with the open approach.The failure rate for anti-reflux surgery performed by surgeons with experience in the procedure and in the management of patients with GERD, is about 10% at 10 years. These results are from studies involving anti-reflux procedures performed with the conventional abdominal incision. Although 10-year follow-up studies with the laparoscopic approach are not yet possible, five year follow-up results with the laparoscopic approach are similar to those observed with the open approach.

If the operation fails

If reflux returns after an anti-reflux procedure, the procedure can be performed again or medications can be used. Complete evaluation to document the presence of reflux and to determine the causes of the reflux is necessary. The re-operation procedures can be performed either laparoscopically or open. However, the feasibility of doing the second procedure laparoscopically is less than when the procedure is done for the first time.

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