Nissen Fundoplication/Hiatal Hernia

Nissen Fundoplication Surgery

Nissen fundoplication surgery has been performed as an open surgery procedure since 1951. Patients remained in the hospital for about ten days, and returned to work after two months. Today, however, this procedure can be performed laparoscopically. Patients having this procedure experience less pain and scarring than the traditional open operation, and stay in the hospital one to three days. Most patients return to work within two or three weeks.

The Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is a minimally invasive procedure performed to alleviate chronic heartburn (GERD) in people when lifestyle changes or medication are not successful. GERD can occur when the lower esophageal sphincter or valve weakens, allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus.  Although the stomach has its own protective mechanisms to prevent injury from acids it produces during digestion, the esophagus does not.  When stomach acid enters the esophagus, it is usually cleared up by esophageal contractions. 

The procedure can be laparoscopically performed with a telescopic video camera, and the surgeon makes five tiny incisions while the patient is under general anesthesia.  During the procedure, the weakened esophageal sphincter is strengthened by wrapping the top part of the stomach around the back of it.  This procedure also helps to correct a hiatal hernia. The esophagus passes through the diaphragm at a point called the hiatus.  A hiatal hernia is when part of the stomach tissue pouches into the chest cavity.