Recovery after the Nissen surgical procedure, also known as Nissen fundoplication, requires staying in the hospital for several days followed by between four and six weeks of recovery at home for open surgery, according to WebMD. Recovery from the laparoscopic version of the procedure only requires between two and three days in the hospital and between two and three weeks of home recovery. In either case, patients should only eat soft food until the stomach heals.
During the Nissen surgical procedure, surgeons wrap the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus, stitching it together to create a tight sleeve, as WebMD explains. This sleeve reinforces the valve between the stomach and esophagus, which keeps the contents of the stomach from spilling back into the esophagus. The procedure is generally performed to treat acid reflux, which causes stomach acid to leak into and burn the esophagus.
The Nissen surgical procedure is generally effective, but it carries some risks, as WebMD reports. It can cause difficulty swallowing and an inability to release stomach gas by belching. Sometimes, the esophagus slides out of the sleeve that the surgeon creates, causing a return of symptoms. This surgery is irreversible, so permanent relief of the symptoms it causes may be impossible.