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A Nissen fundoplication is a surgery to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). During the procedure, a surgeon creates a sphincter (tightening muscle) at the bottom of the esophagus to prevent acid reflux. Most people notice a significant decrease in acid reflux symptoms after the surgery.

What is GERD ?

GERD (chronic acid reflux) is a digestive system disorder that affects the esophagus. If you have GERD, your stomach acid and contents persistently flow back up through your esophagus.

What are the types of Nissen fundoplication ?

Surgeons perform two types of Nissen fundoplication surgery :

  • Laparoscopic procedures use tiny incisions (cuts) and cameras to view inside the body.
  • Open procedures use larger incisions so the surgeon can access inside the body with larger instruments and more range of motion.

What happens before a Nissen fundoplication ?

Before Nissen fundoplication surgery, your surgeon may order tests to examine your stomach and esophagus.

  • GI X-rays (barium swallow X-rays) take images of your esophagus, stomach and small intestine.
  • Esophageal manometry measures the pressure in your esophagus when you swallow.
  • Upper endoscopy examines the upper part of your stomach.
  • A pH probe to look for evidence of acid in the esophagus.

Healthcare providers use these tests to assess any narrowing in your esophagus. They may also order these tests to look for a hiatal hernia. In this condition, the top of the stomach bulges into the esophagus. Hiatal hernias can worsen GERD symptoms.