Laparoscopic fundoplicationThe traditional surgical treatment for patients with severe reflux symptoms.
Fundoplication is the established surgical treatment for reflux disease, and involves wrapping part of the stomach around the bottom of the oesophagus and stitching it to itself. The operation aims to create a new high pressure zone to strengthen the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), preventing stomach contents from refluxing into the oesophagus.
Fundoplication is performed laparoscopically (keyhole) which normally takes about an hour to complete. The minimally invasive nature of the procedure means that most patients are able to go home on the day of their surgery.
It’s an effective procedure with a long history. One of the challenges is how tight to make the ‘wrap’ as it needs to be tight enough to prevent reflux, but not too tight that it makes swallowing difficult. For this reason it’s important to select a Consultant who is very experienced in fundoplication.
You can see specialist consultants and have a range of scans and tests at either one of the below facilities. If you need a procedure, this will be carried out at KIMS Hospital in Maidstone.
KIMS Hospital, Maidstone
Sevenoaks Medical Centre
Prices & payment
The above are guide prices only.
What are the different variations of fundoplication?
There are several variations of fundoplication during which different amounts of the stomach is wrapped either in front or behind the oesophagus. The most common procedure is called the Nissen and is a 360 degree fundoplication. Others are “partial” fundoplications of 180 or 270 degrees and include Dor, Watson, Hill and Toupet.
Does it work?
Patients can enjoy a better quality of life following fundoplication compared to patients taking medication. Surgery is particularly helpful in controlling heartburn and regurgitation symptoms.
However, patients can expect the procedure to lose effectiveness over time and published data shows that up to 10% of patients may require a second operation within 5 years.
After 5 years, a number of patients will be back on antacids and some will choose to have another operation to try and eliminate the symptoms.
What are the possible side effects/complications?
There are a number of side effects associated with fundoplication such as an inability to belch or vomit (in around 10-20% of patients).
The most common symptoms are significant bloating and associated wind symptoms (over 50% of patients). These side effects may resolve without treatment although they can persist permanently.
How long does recovery take following surgery?
Some patients can return home on the day of surgery and virtually everyone else is able to do so the following day.
Patients will follow a post operative diet of pureed and soft foods. It varies from patient to patient, but it can take many months to fully return to eating solid foods.
Most patients find they are able to resume the majority of their normal activities 2-3 weeks after surgery.
At 50 years old, Maureen was struggling with sleep and had a burning in the throat and constant ear ache. It stopped her eating normally and in the end had a major effect on her social life. She was on both over the counter and prescription medication but nothing was working. Maureen had fundoplication surgery which went well and she is now able to eat all the foods she used to love. “I'm feeling better now than I have for 20 years, now I don't need any medicine at all for reflux, and I sleep much better.” Maureen – RefluxUK patient
RefluxUK is an independent CQC registered healthcare provider which is working in partnership with KIMS Hospital. Any enquiries made via the KIMS Hospital enquiry line are transferred directly to RefluxUK where an outpatient appointment with a consultant will be arranged by a member of their team. The pre-operative multi-disciplinary team (MDT) assessment is performed by RefluxUK.
Whilst a patient is in the hospital, a consultant who has practising privileges at KIMS Hospital will take responsibility for the patient together with the KIMS Hospital team. Upon discharge, patient care will be transferred back to RefluxUK together with operation notes and the discharge summary.
In the event of any post-operative complication, patient care will continue to be provided by KIMS Hospital until any issues are resolved. Regular meetings between KIMS Hospital and RefluxUK will take place to review the service, quality & governance, and patient feedback.
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