What is a fundoplication procedure for children?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscular ring connecting the esophagus with the stomach). The sphincter normally prevents food from moving out of the stomach and back up into the esophagus.

A Nissen fundoplication is a surgical procedure that corrects GERD by creating an improved valve mechanism at the bottom of the esophagus. It is meant to prevent the flow of acids upward. Depending on your child’s situation, this surgery may be performed laparoscopically, using a camera and several tiny incisions (cuts), or with an “open” technique, through a regular surgical incision in the skin. Sometimes a gastrostomy tube will also be placed in the stomach to allow for feeding after the surgery.

A gastric emptying study (GES) may be performed to determine if the stomach is emptying properly or if it is delayed. If delayed gastric emptying is found, a surgical procedure called a pyloroplasty may be necessary. This widens the muscular channel between the stomach and the small intestine, allowing the stomach to empty normally.