What Are Some Side Effects of Nissen Fundoplication?


Quick Answer

Side effects of Nissen fundoplication include discomfort and bloating caused by gas accumulation, swallowing difficulties from the stomach being wrapped too high or too tightly on the esophagus, excess gas, and pain at the surgery area, according to WebMD. In time, some patients start to experience symptoms again, and need to use medication or undergo another surgery. Esophagitis can also return in certain patients in the long run.

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Full Answer

Nissen fundoplication is a surgical procedure that is done to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter. The upper stomach is sewn around the lower esophagus in order to prevent acid from backing up, explains Mayo Clinic. This procedure is done to treat GERD symptoms that are partly caused by a hiatal hernia, and have failed to respond to medication, states WebMD. This procedure also becomes an option to other patients when they are unwilling to take medication for a prolonged period of time, or when medication fails to alleviate symptoms caused by stomach acid reflux. Patients who have other symptoms beside acid reflux, such as asthma, hoarseness or coughing that fail to improve with the use of medication, can also undergo this surgery.

Fundoplication is seldom done on older adults, particularly those with other conditions besides GERD, notes WebMD. This procedure is also rarely performed on patients with weak squeezing movements in the esophagus, or those with unusual symptoms that can become worse after surgery. In exceptional circumstances, a gastropexy or partial fundoplication is done instead of a Nissen fundoplication.

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