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What is Robotic Reflux Surgery?

Robotic reflux surgery, also known as robotic fundoplication, is an advanced surgical procedure used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain. Robotic reflux surgery utilizes robotic-assisted technology to perform fundoplication, a procedure that strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to prevent acid reflux.

Benefits of Robotic Reflux Surgery

Robotic reflux surgery offers several advantages over traditional open surgery or laparoscopic procedures. The precision and dexterity of robotic-assisted technology allow for more precise movements and better visualization of the surgical site. This results in:

  • Reduced risk of complications
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery times
  • Less post-operative pain and discomfort
  • Minimal scarring

Additionally, robotic reflux surgery typically provides excellent long-term outcomes in controlling GERD symptoms and improving patients' quality of life.

How do you prepare for Robotic Reflux Surgery?

Before undergoing robotic reflux surgery, patients will need to undergo a comprehensive evaluation by their healthcare provider. This may include diagnostic tests such as endoscopy, pH monitoring, and imaging studies to assess the severity of GERD and determine if robotic surgery is appropriate.

Patients will also receive instructions on how to prepare for surgery, which may include:

  • Fasting for a certain period before the procedure
  • Adjusting medications as directed by the surgeon
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol consumption
  • Following any specific dietary guidelines provided by the healthcare team
  • It's essential to communicate openly with your surgeon and follow all pre-operative instructions to ensure the best possible outcome.

Robotic Reflux Surgery Procedure

During robotic reflux surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen and inserts surgical instruments and a tiny camera attached to robotic arms. The surgeon controls the robotic system from a console, guiding the instruments with precision to perform the fundoplication procedure. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach (fundus) around the lower esophagus and sutures it in place to strengthen the LES and prevent acid reflux.

Recovery after Robotic Reflux Surgery

Recovery after robotic reflux surgery is typically faster compared to traditional open surgery. Most patients can expect to go home the same day or within a day or two of the procedure. However, recovery time may vary depending on individual factors such as overall health and the extent of the surgery.

Patients may experience some discomfort, bloating, or difficulty swallowing in the days following surgery. Pain medication and a liquid or soft diet may be recommended during the initial recovery period. Patients are usually advised to gradually resume normal activities and avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for a few weeks.

Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor progress and ensure proper healing. It's essential to follow all post-operative instructions provided by the surgical team to promote a smooth recovery and optimal results.

Risks of Robotic Reflux Surgery

While robotic reflux surgery is generally safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks. Potential risks and complications may include:

  • Infection at the incision sites
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to surrounding organs or tissues
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Gas bloat syndrome
  • Recurrence of GERD symptoms

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