Valve Stomach Surgery

Valve Stomach Surgery

People that suffer from chronic heartburn and/or acid reflux can often find that consuming food is extremely painful. Most cases of acid reflux can be helped with simple over the counter medications; the downside is that medications will need to be taken regularly over a long term period possible for life. Many people choose to stick with the medication as an alternative to possibly invasive surgical procedures, there are times when the pain becomes unbearable and valve stomach surgery is the best and often only option.

What causes acid reflux?

The cause of acid reflux is due to the contents of the stomach being refluxed back into the oesophagus, it does this because of a weak valve which connects the oesophagus to the stomach. The symptoms of this condition can include:

  • Nausea
  • Asthma
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain behind the breastbone and a burning sensation
  • Chest pain

To prevent this it may require valve stomach surgery to tighten the valve which will eliminate back up from the stomach to the oesophagus.

Surgery to tighten valve

Valve stomach surgery can be done in different ways either through the use of laparoscopic surgery or by using a method involving an instrument called a “plicator”.

The use of laparoscopic surgery is the preferred method of surgery for most abdomen surgical procedures. It involves the surgeon making tiny incisions and using a tiny telescope and camera to assist them in viewing the affected area. The camera will relay images of the inside of the stomach to a video screen which will allow the surgeon to see exactly where he is operating. The kind of valve stomach surgery is done under local anaesthesia, this means that the patient is asleep during the procedure and only awoken once the operation is complete. The use of general anaesthesia will mean that the patient feels no pain at any time during the operation.

Laparoscopic surgery was once the common method of valve surgery but has now been overtaken by the new preferred method of using a Plicator. The reason for this is that the Plicator is seen as less invasive than laparoscopic and has led to quicker procedures and faster recovery time.

The Plicator instrument is used by the surgeon to enter the body in a tube; this is done by inserting it through the throat. The surgeon can use the Plicator to complete the surgery by using it to grab, fold to tighten and repair the stomach tissue without the need for any incision. This means that there is no stitching required to repair any incisions and recovery can begin instantly.

The whole procedure takes around thirty minutes and is generally done on an out-patient basis which means that a patient can be in and out of hospital in just a few hours. There is also no need for general anaesthesia and procedure can be carried out under local anaesthesia. Patients generally recovery from the operation within a day or two and can stop taking medication.