Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition that involves acid from the stomach flowing back into the esophagus because of malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscular valve that closes after food enters the stomach. Patients with GERD often experience heartburn, regurgitation, nausea and difficulty swallowing. Although GERD is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, there are several treatment options to manage symptoms, including long-term medication, lifestyle changes or surgery.
Nissen fundoplication involves wrapping part of the stomach, known as the fundus, around the lower esophagus to strengthen the barrier between the stomach and esophagus. This helps prevent reflux as well as the buildup of acid in the esophagus by strengthening the valve. Fundoplication is ideal for patients whose heartburn is not well controlled by medication and for those who do not want to rely on long-term medication to relieve their symptoms.