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Study backs surgery for acid reflux disease

A type of surgery to cure acid reflux disease, the most severe form of heartburn, is showing a high degree of long-term success, according to a study.
/ Source: Reuters

A type of surgery to cure acid reflux disease, the most severe form of heartburn, is showing a high degree of long-term success, according to a study published Monday.

Of 1,340 people who underwent a laparoscopic procedure, in which a small tube is inserted into the abdomen, 93 percent said they were satisfied with the long-term results.

Patients in the study conducted at University Hospital, Angers, France, were followed on average for more than seven years after the surgery.

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.

Nearly 10 percent of the patients resumed taking heartburn medicine, but “in most no evidence of reflux recurrence could be found,” said the study published in the October issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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 report concluded.