Fundoplication is a surgical procedure that your doctor may suggest if you are suffering from gastro esophageal reflux disease. This procedure aims at correcting the unwanted release of acid from the valve between the esophagus and stomach. In most people this valve (called the lower esophageal sphincter) acts as a safety seal between the acidic environment of the stomach, which is needed to help digest food, and the non-acidic esophagus, meant simply to deliver food, saliva and liquid to the stomach. It is meant to be a one-way track. When the muscle valve which lies between the stomach and esophagus is not working correctly, acid form the stomach can be pushed back up into the esophagus, causing pain, inflammation, GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease, and in worse cases, cancer due to errant cells beginning to form in the esophagus.
When a fundoplication is scheduled, your doctor may have concluded that either your inflamed esophagus has become too severe, causing ulcers, bleeding, a narrowing of the esophagul wall, or that the acid leaking into your esophagus is causing cancerous cells to form. Sometimes, a small hernia will even form in the esophagus or stomach due to the malfunctioning valve. In order to conduct this surgery an incision is made through either the abdomen or chest in order to wrap the upper curve of the stomach around the esophagus. The stomach is then stitched in place to help support the valve, and help it to work, as it should. This surgery is meant to strengthen the esophageal sphincter. A hiatal hernia (when a portion of your stomach muscle is sticking out into your chest cavity – and can be very painful) is also usually cured with this form of laparoscopic surgery.
Are there steps I can take to avoid a fundoplication?
There are a few things you can do to try to treat GERD and its symptoms or a hiatal hernia that causes acid reflux. You can try changing your diet so that your overall stomach acidity is reduced. This can be as simple as eliminating spicy or acidic foods. There are also a few medications that can be taken to try to stop acid reflux, but if the condition becomes severe, then you will still need surgical intervention.
What can I expect with fundoplication surgery?
• You will be put under general anesthesia via an IV inserted into your arm that administers both pain relief and puts you to sleep for the duration of the surgery.
• You may have to have a catheter to redirect your urine.
• You will have a breathing tube during the operation so you may have a slightly sore or dry throat upon waking.
• If the surgery is to be done going through the abdomen, an incision will be made in your belly in order to reach the stomach and esophagus. The stomach will then be wrapped like a sandwich around the lower esophagus and stitched together in order to support the esophageal sphincter.
• In a laparoscopic version of a fundoplication, you will not have one long scar, but three to four small incisions near your lower stomach and esophagus. In one incision, a camera will be inserted so that the surgeon can see what he is doing. The instruments with which he does his work are inserted through the other incisions.
• Gas will be pumped inside your body so he can see well. The same surgery will be performed, but the stomach will be separated from the sphincter and then rewrapped and stitched in place, again to support the opening and closing of the valve with better efficiency.
• As with any surgery, there is some down time involved while the body heals itself from both the surgical incisions and the surgery itself.
• A laparoscopic version of a fundoplication will leave less scarring.
• When you awake from surgery, you will have to have a tube in place, which travels from the nose to the stomach that allows extraneous fluids to drain properly from the stomach and surgery site. It will usually be removed in a few days, and your activity, as far as getting up and down, using the restroom on your own, showering, etc. will be encouraged fairly soon after you wake from your surgery. A hospital stay for this surgery is usually about three to four days long. The tube is removed before you are sent home to further your convalescence there.
Although no one looks forward to this procedure, it may indeed be a necessary surgery to heal a hiatal hernia, GERD or acid reflux disease. It is not worth the complications that can ensue if left untreated. You can try to avoid surgery by attempting alternate means of healing first, and if they fail, rely upon a fundoplication only as a last resort.
Common and Effective Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
When presented with the alternative, a lot of people are afraid to make the big step, fearing that the home remedies for acid reflux will not bring about the alleviation and comfort they need.
Their fear has no real foundation, and results point to the contrary: while most medical treatments available work on the symptoms and try to control acid reflux, the home remedies are perhaps the only ones addressing the cause, and actually preventing acid reflux.
More than that, they often turn into actual money savers, consisting of foods or nutrients we already have in our kitchen and just did not knew we could use them.
Ginger – One of the Best Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
Tests show that ginger has the ability to reduce stomach acid levels and heartburn symptoms, also improving gastrointestinal tract and preventing nausea and inflammations.
The greatest thing about ginger is that it is available in several forms: fresh, powder, candied, capsules or liquid. Thus, it can be used for cooking, spicing or even taken as a supplement.
The recommended quantity is of 500 mg a day. It can be added to the dishes you are cooking, used when making tea or just dissolved in a glass of water. No matter what form of ginger you use, the benefits will be the same.
It can be used as a treatment whenever heartburn symptoms appear, or it can be taken before meals, for prevention purposes. If the results delay appearing, the quantity can be increased, or the procedure can be repeated after 10 minutes.
Green Tea – Home Remedies for Acid Reflux Rich in Benefits
We use it for weight loss, detoxification, and several other purposes, but few know that green tea works miracles for heartburn as well. The Japanese and other oriental peoples used to drink it after dinner, and few others understood why. Well, green tea not only eases the digestion process, but it also soothes the sensitive tissue of the stomach.
Given its complex content and action, green tea is recommended not to be combined with aspirin or warfarin, as it can increase bleeding risks. Also, if used before surgical procedures, green tea can decrease platelet aggregation.
Other Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
Although not recommended for those suffering from bile duct blockages, artichoke is known to reduce the heartburn sensation and to stimulate bile flow.
Licorice is another popular acid reflux remedy. However, it is not recommended for people diagnosed with diabetes, heart irregularities, high blood pressure, abnormal muscle tension, low potassium blood levels, poor kidney function, cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis. Licorice treatment periods should not exceed 6 weeks and doses should not exceed 20 grams a day in case of licorice extract, and 50 grams a day in case of licorice root.
Peppermint is also highly efficient, for those who don’t suffer from bile duct blockage, liver damage or gallbladder inflammation.
Mixed teas based on licorice, chamomile, ginger, catnip and peppermint are known to have a reparatory influence on the stomach’s lining, and in most heartburn cases, one cup after dinner is enough to alleviate symptoms.
Selenium and vitamin B 12 are among the few supplements known to alleviate acid reflux symptoms, but for their use, the doctor’s recommendation should be followed.
Water, the Surprise of the Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
We often laugh when we see movies or commercials in which people offer a glass of water as a calming method in stressful situations. If we consider heartburn a stressful stomach situation, the same glass of water is believed to work miracles.
Yes, physicians advise that one of the reasons they recommend people to drink 8 glasses of water a day is because it, not only helps eliminate body toxins, but is also allows the body to expel acids naturally.
As a quick remedy in case of heartburn pain, a glass of cool water should be accompanied by a tablespoon of baking soda.
Of course, the list of home remedies for acid reflux could continue. However, since our bodies work in different ways and side effects are difficult to be covered, before starting any home treatments, it is recommended that you purchase an acid reflux guide.
It will reveal everything you should know on acid reflux, all home remedies, how they should be administered for maximum efficiency, and what their potential side effects are. More than that, such a guide will cover the importance of embracing a healthy diet and the measures to be taken for the purpose.
Although no one loves diets, they don’t have to be restrictive and impossible to follow, and that is where the acid reflux guide comes in. It will teach you which are the foods you should stay away from in order to prevent acid reflux, which are the foods that can help you maintain your balance and well being, and which are the foods you can enjoy with moderation, in order to avoid constraints, but not jeopardize your health.
All this useful information is usually wrapped in a set of delicious recipes that turn cooking into a fun and entertaining process.
Please note that this article and the guide mentioned above were not meant as an encouragement for you to interrupt your medication or to avoid seeing your physician. On the contrary, your health comes above everything else, and everything you feel might help protect it is, not only allowed, but highly recommended.
As far as the above remedies are concerned, their efficiency has been proven throughout several tests, and the results were confirmed by numerous heartburn sufferers. Being mostly 100 % natural ingredients, they should have no side effects and cause no harm.
Use them moderately, and don’t forget to keep a success journal. Write in it the content of the meals you eat, the remedies you use, and the way you feel afterwards. In time, you should be able to recognize the efficient home remedies for acid reflux in your case, but also the food categories that aggravate or alleviate the heartburn symptoms.