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Anti-reflux surgery - discharge

Fundoplication - discharge; Nissen fundoplication - discharge; Belsey (Mark IV) fundoplication - discharge; Toupet fundoplication - discharge; Thal fundoplication - discharge; Hiatal hernia repair - discharge; Endoluminal fundoplication - discharge; GERD - fundoplication discharge; Gastroesophageal reflux disease - fundoplication discharge

You had surgery to treat your gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition that causes food or liquid to come up from your stomach into your esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach).

Now that you're going home, be sure to follow your surgeon's instructions on how to take care of yourself.

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When You're in the Hospital

If you had a hiatal hernia, it was repaired. A hiatal hernia develops when the natural opening in your diaphragm is too large. Your diaphragm is the muscle 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 GERD symptoms worse.

Your surgeon also wrapped the upper part of your stomach around the end of your esophagus to create pressure at the end of your esophagus. This pressure helps prevent stomach acid and food from flowing back up.

Your surgery was done by making a large incision in your upper belly (open surgery) or with a small incision using a laparoscope (a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end).

What to Expect at Home

Most people go back to work 2 to 3 weeks after laparoscopic surgery and 4 to 6 weeks after open surgery.

You may have a feeling of tightness when you swallow for 6 to 8 weeks. This is from the swelling inside your esophagus. You may also have some bloating.

Self-care

When you return home, you will be drinking a clear liquid diet for 2 weeks. You will be on a full liquid diet for about 2 weeks after that, and then a soft-food diet.

On the liquid diet:

When you are eating solid foods again, chew well. DO NOT eat cold foods. DO NOT eat foods that clump together, such as rice or bread. Eat small amounts of food several times a day instead of three big meals.

Your doctor will give you a prescription for pain medicine. Get it filled when you go home so you have it when you need it. Take your pain medicine before your pain becomes too severe.

Walk several times a day. DO NOT lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (about a gallon of milk; 4.5 kg). DO NOT do any pushing or pulling. Slowly increase how much you do around the house. Your doctor will tell you when you can increase your activity and return to work.

Wound Care

Take care of your wound (incision):

When to Call the Doctor

Call your health care provider if you have any of the following:

Related Information

Anti-reflux surgery
Esophageal stricture - benign
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Hiatal hernia
Esophagitis
Heartburn
Anti-reflux surgery - children
Bland diet
Gastroesophageal reflux - discharge
Heartburn - what to ask your doctor

References

Katz PO, Gerson LB, Vela MF. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108(3):308-328. PMID: 23419381 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23419381.

Richter JE, Friedenberg FK. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 44.

Yates RB, Oelschlager BK, Pellegrini CA. Gastroesophageal reflux disease and hiatal hernia. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 42.

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Review Date: 10/28/2018  

Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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