Nissen Fundoplication (Treatment of GERD)


During the fundoplication surgery, the surgeon improves the natural barrier between the stomach and the esophagus by wrapping a part of the stomach known as the gastric fundus around the lower esophagus. This prevents the flow of acids from the stomach into the esophagus, and strengthens the valve between the esophagus and stomach, which stops acid from backing up into the esophagus as easily. This procedure is often done using a laparoscopic surgical technique. It can also be done as traditional (open) surgery.

A laparoscopic surgical procedure is an alternative to traditional or what is known as “open” surgery, in which a large incision must be made. Surgeons provide patients with a technologically advanced option. Now, minimally invasive surgery is used to treat GERD. Our surgeons use laparoscopic surgery to make incisions only millimeters in size. Laparoscopic surgery eliminates the need for a long incision. Small incisions are made to accommodate small tubes called “trocars.” These create a passageway for special surgical instruments and a laparoscope.
A laparoscope is a fiber-optic instrument that is inserted in the abdominal wall. This device transmits images from within the body to a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see the operative area on the screen.
During the laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication procedure, surgeons use small surgical tools and a laparoscope to repair the muscle that separates the stomach and esophagus.

Laparoscopic surgery has many advantages over traditional surgery. Less scarring and recovery time are two of the most compelling advantages of this procedure. Hospital stays are reduced and total recovery time is cut in half. The risk of infection is also lower because of the smaller incisions.
Laparoscopic surgery usually requires only a one-day hospital stay instead of four to five days required for traditional surgery. In many cases a patient’s total recovery time can be as little as one to two weeks, compared with four to six weeks for traditional surgery.


Surgical candidates are those whose heartburn is not well controlled with medicine, those who want to fix the problem without having to take medicine long term, and those who are having complications from reflux, including ulcers, strictures, hernias or Barrett’s esophagus.