Laparoscopic fundoplication is a surgical procedure to address Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD), if other non-surgical treatments have not proved successful.
Originally called a 'Nissen Fundoplication' after the Swiss doctor who pioneered the approach in the 1950s, the procedure involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach (the 'fundus') around the lower section of the oesophagus (the tube connecting the throat to the stomach) and then suturing it into position. This has the effect of strengthening the operation of the valve at the bottom of the oesophagus, called the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter or 'LES', which in turn prevents stomach acid and food washing back up into the oesophagus from the stomach.
The procedure is carried out laparoscopically, that is using minimally invasive 'keyhole' surgery. One or more small incisions, of less than 1cm, are made to the abdomen to allow laparoscopic equipment (including a camera and light and various surgical instruments) to access the abdominal cavity and complete the surgery.
The procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic and generally requires 2-3 days in hospital afterwards. As it is a minimally invasive procedure, recovery times are relatively short, with most patients able to return to work within 2 weeks of the operation.
After the procedure, there may be some restrictions relating to diet and physical activity and your surgeon will provide you with instructions on this as well as on wound care for the small incisions made during the procedure.
Your diet will be restricted to pureed foods only while your body recovers from the surgery. You are also advised not to lift heavy items for the first 6 weeks after surgery.