Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux can be treated with changes in lifestyle, medications, and sometimes with surgery. More advanced cases of reflux should be evaluated by a gastroenterologist, and if testing shows that the patient might benefit from surgery, a referral can be made. Alternatively, patients can be seen for consultation by a surgeon who may then refer them to a gastroenterologist for any necessary testing.
Surgery can be done in a minimally invasive manner, using 5 half inch incisions. An anti-reflux valve is created using a portion of the stomach, and any hiatal hernia is repaired. The patient will usually be able to return home in 2 days, and resume normal activities in 2 weeks or less.