What is Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication?


Know the basics

What is Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication?

Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication is a treatment for acid reflux conditions, such as GERD and heartburn. Acid reflux is a condition where acid from your stomach travels up into your oesophagus (gullet). This happens if the valve between your stomach and your oesophagus does not work effectively. Acid reflux can cause ‘heartburn’ or acid in the back of your mouth.

Why is Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication performed?

Your doctor may suggest surgery to treat your heartburn or reflux symptoms when:

  • Your symptoms do not get much better when you use medicines.
  • You do not want to keep taking these medicines.
  • You have more severe problems in your esophagus, such as scarring or narrowing, ulcers, and bleeding.
  • You have reflux disease that is causing aspiration pneumonia, a chronic cough, or hoarseness.

You should know of other alternatives to this treatment such as:

  • Medication that lowers the acid content in your stomach is effective at controlling symptoms and healing inflammation.
  • Surgery is recommended only if the symptoms continue or if you would prefer to have an operation than take medication for the rest of your life.

Understand the risks

What are the risks of Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication?

As with every procedure, there are some risks. You should ask your surgeon to explain how these risks apply to you.

The possible complications of any procedure include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis, DVT).

For a laparoscopic nissen fundoplication operation, there also includes specific complications which are:

  • Damage to structures such as your bowel, bladder or blood vessels;
  • Developing a hernia near one of the cuts;
  • Surgical emphysema;
  • Pneumothorax;
  • Making a hole in your oesophagus or stomach;
  • Tear of the stitches used for the wrap;
  • Damage to your liver;
  • Damage to your spleen;
  • Difficulty swallowing for a few months.

Long-term problems

  • Continued difficulty swallowing;
  • Incomplete control of reflux symptoms;
  • Weight loss;
  • Abdominal discomfort;
  • Diarrhea.

It is important you understand the risks and complications before having this surgery. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.

Know what happens

How do I prepare for Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic. You should be given clear instructions to follow before the operation, including whether you can eat anything in the hours leading up to it. In most cases, you should start fasting about six hours before your procedure. You may be able to drink fluids, such as coffee, until a few hours before your surgery.

What happens during Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes one to two hours.

Your surgeon will make several small cuts on your abdomen. They will place surgical instruments, along with a telescope, inside your abdomen and perform the operation.

Your surgeon will stitch your diaphragm to reduce the size of the hole your oesophagus passes through. They will wrap and stitch the top part of your stomach around your lower oesophagus.

If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.


What happens after Laparoscopic nissen fundoplication?

You should be able to go home the next day.

You should be able to return to work after three to four weeks, depending on the extent of surgery and your type of work.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

You should make a full recovery, with the symptoms of acid reflux gone or much improved.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: January 1, 2018 | Last Modified: September 6, 2018

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