PROCEDURE OF THE DAY
Nissen fundoplication is a surgical procedure to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hiatus hernia. In GERD it is usually performed when medical therapy has failed, but with paraesophageal hiatus hernia, it is the first-line procedure. Partial fundoplications known as a Dor fundoplication or Toupet fundoplication may accompany surgery for achalasia.
In a fundoplication, the gastric fundus (upper part) of the stomach is wrapped, or plicated, around the inferior part of the esophagus and stitched in place, reinforcing the closing function of the lower esophageal sphincter: Whenever the stomach contracts, it also closes off the esophagus instead of squeezing stomach acids into it. This prevents the reflux of gastric acid (in GERD). A fundoplication can also prevent hiatal hernia, in which the fundus slides up through the enlarged esophageal hiatus of the diaphragm.
In a Nissen fundoplication, also called a complete fundoplication, the fundus is wrapped all the way around the esophagus. In contrast, surgery for achalasia is generally accompanied by either a Dor or Toupet partial fundoplication, which is less likely than a Nissen wrap to aggravate the dysphagia that characterizes achalasia. In a Dor (anterior) fundoplication, the fundus is laid over the top of the esophagus; while in a Toupet (posterior) fundoplication, the fundus is wrapped around the back of the esophagus.
The procedure is often performed laparoscopically. Alternatively a much more invasive open proceedure may be warrented. When used to alleviate gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in patients with delayed gastric emptying, it is frequently combined with modification of the pylorus via pyloromyotomy or pyloroplasty.
Nissen fundoplication is generally considered to be safe and effective, with a mortality rate of less than 1%. Studies have shown that after 10 years, 89.5% of patients are still symptom-free.
Other patiens have found a need to reverse the proceedure due to severe side effects. Many patients must have the surgery redone to adjust the tightnes of the band.
Fundoplication to correct hiatal hernia has shown to weaken the hiatus and increase the chance of a hernia reoccuring. Manipulative therapies often prove effective in the treatment of hiatal hernia.
Complications include "gas bloat syndrome", dysphagia (trouble swallowing), dumping syndrome, excessive scarring, and rarely, achalasia. The fundoplication can also come undone over time in about 5-10% of cases, leading to recurrence of symptoms. If the symptoms warrant a repeat surgery, the surgeon may use Marlex or another form of artificial mesh to strengthen the connection.
In "gas bloat syndrome", patients report being unable to belch, leading to an accumulation of gas in the stomach or small intestine. This is said to occur in 2-5% of patients, depending on surgical technique, and is commonly believed to be related to the tightness of the "wrap". Most often, gas bloat syndrome is self-limiting within 2 to 4 weeks, but in some it may persist. The offending gas may come from dietary sources, especially carbonated beverages; another suspected cause is involuntary swallowing of air (aerophagia). If gas bloat syndrome occurs postoperatively and does not resolve with time, dietary restrictions, and counselling regarding aerophagia, it may be beneficial to consider treating the condition with an endoscopic balloon dilatation.
Vomiting is often difficult or even impossible with a fundoplication. In some cases, the purpose of this operation is to correct excessive vomiting. However, when its purpose is to reduce gastric reflux, difficulty in vomiting may be an undesired outcome. Initially, vomiting is impossible; however, small amounts of vomit may be produced after the wrap settles over time, and in extreme cases such as alcohol poisoning or food poisoning, the patient may be able to vomit freely.
Other complications include mood changes, joint and spinal chronic pain, vagus nerve damage, gastreoparis, cyclic vomiting syndrome, Schatzkis Ring, re-occurance or emergence of hiatal hernia, food allergies (esp wheat and red meat), IBS, Barrett's Esophagus, and an increased chance of cancer.
Dr. Rudolph Nissen first performed the procedure in 1955 and published the results of two cases in a 1956 Swiss Medical Weekly. In 1961 he published a more detailed overview of the procedure. Nissen originally called the surgery "gastroplication." The procedure has borne his name since it gained popularity in the 1970's.
PHOTO OF DIAGRAM OF PROCEDURE