GORD is a condition which causes food or stomach acid to come back up from your stomach into your oesophagus. It can cause heartburn and other uncomfortable symptoms. Reflux occurs if the muscles where the oesophagus meets the stomach do not close tightly enough.
A hiatal hernia occurs when the natural opening in your diaphragm is too large. Your diaphragm is the muscle and tissue layer between your chest and belly. Your stomach may bulge through this large hole into your chest. This bulging is called a hiatal hernia. It may make GORD symptoms worse.
A procedure called fundoplication is the most common type of anti-reflux surgery. During this procedure your surgeon will:
Anti reflux surgery involves surgery to correct the anatomical factors that result in reflux. If there is a hiatus hernia, this is repaired by bringing the stomach back down into the abdominal cavity and tightening the diaphragm muscle around the bottom of the oesophagus. We re-create the ‘valve’ at the bottom end of the oesophagus by wrapping the top part of the stomach ‘fundus’ over it. This is called a fundoplication.
This surgery can be performed very safely in a ‘minimally invasive/keyhole’ way. In rare circumstances open surgery may be required, particularly if there has been previous surgery in the area.
There is no waiting list. If you wish, your operation can usually be performed within a week or two or planned at a time of your choosing. For most patients with full private health insurance there will be some extra costs not covered by Medicare or your health fund. The cover provided by your health fund will vary according to which fund and which level of cover you have. In some cases you may have to pay an “excess”. It is your responsibility to check with your health fund prior to surgery. Full financial details will be provided to you prior to surgery. Occasionally other tests, procedures or specialist consultations may be necessary and some other costs incurred.
Public hospital waiting lists are very long and the surgery is usually carried out by trainee surgeons under the supervision of one of the specialist surgeons appointed by the hospital. There is no choice of surgeon in the Public Hospital and your LapSurgery Australia surgeon cannot not be involved in your operation.
If you do not have private health insurance, you can expect to have a higher out of pocket cost depending on the hospital your surgery is performed at. Following your consultation with our surgeon our staff will be able to give you an informed financial consent prior to going ahead with surgery.
Hospitals used by LapSurgery Australia for this surgery are: