12. What is the most common type of surgical therapy for GERD?

A laparoscopic fundoplication is the most common type of surgical repair.  This procedure is a minimally invasive procedure done with 4-5 small 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch incisions to repair the hiatal hernia and enhance the lower esophageal sphincter.

Most patients have relief of typical reflux symptoms (heartburn, regurgitation and swallowing problems).  Atypical reflux symptoms (cough, asthma, laryngitis and sinusitis) after operation are relieved in two-thirds of patients.

A 1997 diagnostic and therapeutic technology assessment of the American Medical Association declared laparoscopic fundoplication safe and effective therapy for GERD.  Most esophageal erosions heal and more than 90% of patients will have negative pH studies when tested 1-3 years following laparoscopic fundoplication.