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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscular valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus. This valve normally prevents food in the stomach from regurgitating back up into the esophagus.
Patients with GERD have a weakened sphincter that allows stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. The esophageal lining becomes inflamed and patients experience heartburn, chest pain, and sometimes a sour taste in the mouth. If left untreated, GERD can lead to ulcer formation, bleeding, and scarring.
GERD is most commonly managed by medication and lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and diet modification. When these approaches are not effective for controlling a patient's GERD, surgery may be indicated.
GERD expertise at Weill Cornell Medicine
Thoracic surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center perform a minimally invasive procedure called "laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication" to treat patients with GERD. During this procedure, the weakened lower esophageal sphincter is supported by wrapping the top portion of the stomach around the lower esophagus as a bolster.
Patients undergoing the laparoscopic approach experience less pain and scarring than those who have a traditional, “open” surgery. Most patients begin to eat the morning after surgery and can leave the hospital within 48 hours.
Why choose Weill Cornell Medicine for GERD treatment?
Our patients benefit from:
• The most advanced techniques in surgical procedures
• Our excellent network of medical professionals, including oncologists, gastroenterologists, and pathologists, working with our thoracic surgeons to ensure patients receive truly comprehensive care
• Treatments tailored specifically to our individual patients
• Our record of excellent outcomes — among the best in the nation — with a very low rate of complications
• Expertise in operating on patients with other health problems (such as diabetes, kidney problems, or others) and those who are elderly