Published on October 23, 2005 at 7:44 PM
According to a study published this week, surgery to cure acid reflux disease, the most severe form of heartburn, has shown a high degree of long-term success.
The surgery, a laparoscopic procedure, in which a small tube is inserted into the abdomen, was carried out on a group of 1,340 people, and 93 percent have declared they are satisfied with the long-term results.
Acid reflux disease occurs when stomach acid moves into the esophagus after a muscular valve designed to prevent such leakage opens up.
Laparoscopic surgery for acid reflux involves strengthening that natural barrier by wrapping part of the stomach around the lower part of the esophagus.
In the study which was conducted at University Hospital, Angers, France, the patients were followed on average for more than seven years after the surgery.
Although almost 10 percent of the patients resumed taking heartburn medicine, in most no evidence of reflux recurrence could be found.
The report concluded that the results suggest that laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery is an effective long-term procedure, is well tolerated, and can be properly used in the treatment of acid reflux disease.
The study is published in the October issue of the Archives of Surgery.