What is a Nissen fundoplication: its procedure and recovery?


Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by admin

A Nissen fundoplication is a surgical technique used to treat gastroesophageal reflux conditions or disease (GERD). In this procedure, the surgeon tries to build a tightening muscle at the oesophagus’s lower part that helps prevent acid reflux. In most cases, people experience.

An over view of Nissen fundoplication

A Nissen surgery is used to rectify the gastroesophageal functions. The surgeon constricts the oesophagal-stomach junction to prevent acid reflux.

The esophagus is a large tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. It is the major part of the gastrointestinal system (GI). Chronic acid reflux disorder directly affects this tube.

Surgeons from complete medical wellness practices help you in early recovery of gastroesophegeal functions.

What is GERD, and how it affects you?

GERD  is chronic acid reflux, a digestive system disorder affecting the esophagus. If you are suffering from GERD, the contents and stomach acid constantly flows back through the esophagus.

Types of Nissen fundoplication

There are two common types of Nissen fundoplication surgery

  • Laparoscopic
  • Open procedure


In laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, the surgeon or laparoscopist creates minor cuts (incisions). Inserts a camera through them to view the point they want to operate.

Open procedure

In open Nissen fundoplication, the surgeon creates larger incisions and access inside the required point in the body through larger instruments and more range of motion.

 Who requires a Nissen fundoplication?

In certain cases, the patient gets relief from the symptoms of acid reflux through medication or changes in lifestyle. If your symptoms continue after noninvasive treatments, your care provider can suggest Nissen fundoplication surgery. Anyone (a child or an adult) can get this recommendation.

Medical tests before Nissen fundoplication

The surgeon will ask you to have the following tests

GI X-rays/ Barium swallow X-rays

These X-Rays are performed to get images of the stomach, esophagus and small intestine.

Esophageal manometry

Oesophagal manometry helps to measure the intestinal pressure in your esophagus while swallowing.

Upper endoscopy

Healthcare provider examines the upper portion of the stomach through this test.

PH Probe

A PH probe is done to check for the evidence of stomach acid in the esophagus.

Healthcare providers assess or check esophagus narrowing through the mentioned-above tests. These tests are also done to check hiatal hernia. In a hiatal hernia, the stomach top bulges into the esophagus, worsening the GERD symptoms.

How to prepare for a Nissen fundoplication?

You must not drink or eat anything after midnight before surgery. Follow the instructions of your healthcare providers strictly.

How do you feel during a Nissen fundoplication?

Your feelings may differ slightly and depend on the nature of the surgery, whether it is an open or laparoscopic procedure.

In both procedures, you will undergo anaesthesia through injection (intravenous) medication and let you sleep.

During open Nissen fundoplication surgery, the surgeon

  • Creates a large abdomen incision.
  • Wraps the top portion of the fundus (stomach) around the lower esophagus.
  • Closes the cuts with staples.

During Laparoscopic surgeon, the surgeon

  • Creates around five tiny incisions in the abdomen.
  • Inserts a laparoscope through incisions to view the abdomen.
  • After reviewing the inner portion, he enters tiny operating tools for wrapping the upper stomach tissues around the lower esophagus.
  • After completing the procedure, the surgeon closes the incisions through the stitching.

How do you feel after the Nissen fundoplication?

Right after the surgery, you may have a sore for a couple of days. If you or your child have undergone an open surgery, you will require a temporary nasogastric tube to clear the stomach from digestive juices while healing.

You also require an IV line to remove the fluids before eating again. The surgeon can ask you to start eating after you pass a gas or bowel movement starts.

Your healthcare provider suggests staying in the hospital for two days after the surgery. It depends on your health conditions and the nature of the surgery. In laparoscopic surgery, your healthcare provider will let you go home the very next day of the surgery. In open surgery, they recommend detaining you in a hospital or healthcare facility for a couple of days or even more if required or complications occur.

Benefits of a Nissen fundoplication

Patients often feel a major improvement in acid reflux symptoms after the surgery. The procedures relieve GERD, increase comfort, and minimise the chances of developing Barret’s esophagus. Barret’s esophagus may increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Patients who go through laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication may have more benefits like

  • Fast recovery
  • Low level of pain.
  • Short stay at the hospital.

Risk or complications associated with a Nissen fundoplication

A Nissen fundoplication’s significant risk is that acid reflux symptoms may return. The patient may require another surgery after two or three years.

Like other surgeries, the risk of infection in the incision is also present in a Nissen fundoplication.

Recovery time.

Recovery time depends on the nature of the surgery. It may take seven to ten days to recover after surgery. The healthcare provider and surgeon will recommend a soft diet. You can resume normal eating and exercise after a few days of the surgery. Laparoscopic surgery requires fewer days to recover.

Children may take a few days to return to school after being discharged from the hospital. The healthcare provider will suggest avoiding strenuous activities for weeks or more. The restrictions from normal or strenuous activities may vary depending on the nature of the surgery or the patient’s condition.

Start eating a health diet full of nutrients like suggested in hernia surgery

When to seek instant medical care?

  • If the symptoms of acid reflux return after surgery, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • You may experience swelling around the incision

Contact the healthcare provider if you see in the hospital for two days after the surgery. It depends on your health conditions and the nature of the surgery. In laparoscopic surgery, your healthcare provider will let you go home the very next day of the surgery. In open surgery, they recommend detaining you in a hospital or healthcare facility for a couple of days or even more if required or complications occur.

Key takeaways

A Nissen fundoplication is a surgery for treating GERD. When the patient’s acid reflux is not recovered from medication or noninvasive treatments.

Commonly, surgeons use Laparoscopic surgery for a Nissen fundoplication. In this surgery they will make small incisions and use smaller tools for the procedure resulting in quick recovery. You can get a superior support from the experienced and well-versed healthcare providers and surgeons of complete medical wellness practice and get rid of anxiety.

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Ava Green is a certified yoga instructor and holistic health coach with a passion for promoting mind-body wellness. With over 5 years of experience in the field, Ava has worked with clients of all ages and backgrounds to help them achieve greater balance and harmony in their lives. She is dedicated to helping people reduce stress, improve their mental health, and cultivate a deeper connection with their bodies through yoga, meditation, and other holistic practices. Ava has written extensively on topics such as mindfulness, self-care, and the benefits of yoga for overall health and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to live their best lives by embracing a holistic approach to health and wellness. When she's not teaching or writing, Ava enjoys hiking, cooking healthy meals, and spending time with her family.