Fundoplication: Uses, what to expect, and more

Fundoplication is a surgical procedure that helps treat some gastroesophageal conditions.

During a fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), for example, a surgeon will attach part of the stomach to the lower esophageal sphincter, which helps reduce acid reflux.

That said, fundoplication treatment is not a replacement for other ways to control GERD, such as making dietary and lifestyle changes. In fact, doctors usually reserve this procedure for people who do not get symptom relief with less invasive treatments.

Fundoplication is the standard surgical treatment to manage GERD. There are some general things to expect during the process, and doctors will have specific instructions in each case.

This allows the surgeon to make small incisions in the body and feed the laparoscope into place, rather than making larger cuts that expose the organs. Once in place, the laparoscope sends a video feed to a monitor, which the surgeon will look at to perform the surgery.

For a fundoplication, the surgeon will gather the uppermost part of the stomach, called the fundus, and gently wrap and suture it around the lower esophageal sphincter.

This helps increase pressure in the esophagus and make acid reflux less likely. In some cases, fundoplication may also involve other steps to treat related issues, such as hiatal hernias.