Heartburn Surgery Recovery
Heartburn surgery involves a laparoscopic (through the abdomen) or endoscopic (through the mouth) procedure to fix the diaphragm and recreate the gastroesophageal valve to prevent further reflux. Generally the surgery is very straight forward and involves about a one hour long operation. The recovery is quick.
Most patients will stay in the hospital overnight to ensure that any incisional pain, which is generally minor, is well controlled and that they are able to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. Because we are working on the upper part of the stomach, some patients may have a small amount of nausea right after surgery. This nausea is usually limited and mild. Being in the hospital the first night allows us to assess this nausea and treat it with strong medications to prevent retching that could damage the repair.
Most patients will return to work within 48 hours. The post operative diet is the hardest part of the surgery because it will involve a liquid diet for the first couple of weeks, soft diet for another two weeks, and back to solid food around four to six weeks after surgery. This is because we want everything to heal well before eating anything that could get stuck at the area of surgery which may swell some right after surgery.
Reflux surgery is tolerated very well by most patients. It is a quick and rather painless operation with fantastic results. If you suffer from chronic reflux problems and medications are not helping anymore, then consider your surgical options to get off those medications once and for all and live heartburn free!
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