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During this surgery, called a fundoplication, your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is re-created by wrapping the top of your stomach around the esophagus. It can sometimes be done with a laparoscope through several small incisions instead of a single long one, as in the traditional open procedure. As a result, there is less pain, a quicker recovery time, a shorter hospital stay, and lower risk of infection.
LIFTING THE ESOPHAGUS
If the opening of the hiatus is too large (hiatal hernia), the doctor may tighten it with a few stitches (sutures). This repairs the hiatal hernia. Then the esophagus is lifted out of the way for a short time
- You will be given anesthesia and any other medications through an intravenous tube (called an IV). You will be asleep during surgery.
- Your abdomen will be inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide more space for your surgeon to see and work. (The gas is removed at the end of surgery.)
- The laparoscope, which has a camera attached, is then inserted through an incision to send images to a video screen. Small surgical instruments are inserted through other incisions.
- If your surgeon feels it isn't safe to continue with a laparoscopic procedure once surgery has started, he or she will complete the operation through a larger incision in your chest or abdomen. This is called an open procedure.
- This surgery requires a longer recovery time, up to 1 week in the hospital and from 4-6 weeks at home.