Anti-reflux surgery is a surgical procedure to treat chronic acid reflux or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). GORD involves the reflux (backflow) of stomach acid into the oesophagus (food pipe), leading to heartburn and inflammation. This is caused by a failure of the muscles in the lower oesophagus to effectively close.
Anti-reflux treatment is performed using laparoscopic (keyhole) techniques in order to improve recovery time and reduce post-operative pain. Anti-reflux surgery involves the strengthening of the lower end of the oesophagus through the wrapping and stitching of the upper part of the stomach. This wrap at the top of the stomach creates a valve which works to prevent acid reflux.
Patients will experience abdominal and chest discomfort for 24-48 hours after the surgery. The keyhole techniques used mean that patients are usually able to return home later the same day, or if not only an overnight stay will be required. Patients should avoid heavy lifting for two to three weeks, and return to work only when they feel well enough.