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The surgery for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is known as fundoplication. In this procedure, a hiatal hernia, if present, is eliminated and part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower end of the esophagus to strengthen the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. The operation is typically done via a laparoscope, an instrument that avoids a full incision of the stomach. Due to the complexity of this surgery, it is important to seek a skilled surgeon who has experience in performing this procedure and can discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure.
Michael Ujiki, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, answered on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystemThe TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) procedure at two years has been shown to resolve heartburn in more than 90% of patients. It also results in complete cure of reflux in 70% to 80% of patients being off of antacids. The nice thing about this procedure is that it is incisionless, so very little pain is experienced. In addition, people can get back to their normal everyday activities and work, almost right away -- within a day or two. Most importantly, it is a very safe procedure.