If you are suffering from LPR (silent reflux) one of the options that maybe you want to consider is surgery to fix your problem. Of course, if you haven’t tried the likes of an LPR diet or things like Gaviscon advance I would first recommend you try them out first before considering surgery. Also, I would recommend you check out my complete LPR guide as well.
Surgery is something for someone who has tried everything available to them to no avail. After that you will likely need some tests to figure out what surgery may be effective for you. For example, the most accurate test to check for LPR is the Restech pH test. If you definitely have LPR then you will need more tests to determine what is causing your LPR in the first place.
For example, gastric emptying study, pH monitoring (Restech), esophageal motility and even an electrogastrogram. I cover some of the diagnosis options in more detail on this article – Acid Reflux / GERD – Ultimate Guide.
After you have been properly diagnosed you then can consider surgery options. Below I will cover each of the surgeries that are designed to treat acid reflux, so then you know your options that you have available to you. Of course, depending on your situation one option may be the better choice than another.
Silent Reflux Surgery Options
Stretta isn’t like most other procedures as it is minimally invasive and doesn’t require any incisions, stiches or implants. This clearly makes it a preferable option because you can return to normal activities the following day whereas with the other options there will be more time needed for healing before returning to normal activities.
As I am sure you are asking yourself “how does Stretta work” – well it uses a radiofrequency energy which to sent to the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus. This radiofrequency energy will help remodel and improve the muscle tissue in this area. This process will help make the muscle thicker which will help prevent reflux. You can read more about the Stretta procedure here. This seems to be one of the best options for people with LPR.
If you didn’t know for a lot of people who suffer from both GERD and LPR the most common cause is because of the muscle above the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which doesn’t remain closed and tight when it should be to keep acid in the stomach. The Linx procedure aims to fix that. You can read more about the LES’s importance here – stomach sphincters role with LPR.
Basically, how it works is a small magnetic band is placed around the exact place of the LES – this magnetic band is designed to help the muscle close and tighten when it is meant to which helps prevent against reflux. The band will of course allow for swallowing and the foods to pass through normally as they should.
The Linx procedure is more invasive than the Stretta procedure though overall is still minimally invasive for a procedure thanks to the procedure being performed using a technique called laparoscopy (keyhole surgery). It’s also worth mentioning that this surgery is quite easily reversable if needed.
If you didn’t know the full name for the Nissen surgery is the Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. Of these 3 options the Nissen is the most invasive and will typically need 4-5 small cuts in your abdomen to carry out the operation. This also means up to 2-3 months of time may be needed for healing with most patients being able to return to work after 2-3 weeks’ time.
How the Nissen surgery works is the top part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower part of your gullet which will form a collar. This process basically tightens the closing mechanism above the stomach which should prevent any acid from refluxing up into the esophagus. The Nissen surgery is reversable but as you would imagine it isn’t as simple as reversing the Linx procedure in comparison.