Esophageal hiatus hernia surgery

An esophageal hiatus hernia (also known as a hiatal hernia) eventually may require surgery. In this case, the objective is three-fold: To bring the abdominal viscera to its proper intraabdominal position (reduction) , to create a pseudovalve to prevent gastroesophageal reflux, and to prevent a recurrence of the herniation.

There have been different  procedures developed to this effect. One of the most popular has been the Nissen fundoplication either trough the open surgery approach or by way of a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.

Nissen fundoplication (www.en.wikipedia.org)
Original image courtesy of Wikipedia.org.

This procedure was pioneered by Dr. Rudolf Nissen (1896 - 1981) in 1955.  After reducing the hiatal hernia and repairing the dilated esophageal hiatus, the surgeon creates a gastric wrap around the abdominal esophagus by bringing the fundus of the stomach through a retroesophageal passage, and suturing the fundus to the stomach. (see image). One of the concerns of the procedure is the ligation and transection of the short gastric vessels that pass within the gastrosplenic ligament to allow greater mobility of the gastric fundus and prevent potential avulsion of the short gastric vessels.

Since the introduction of this open procedure in 1955 there have been several variations, such as the "Nissen-Rosetti" procedure, a "loose" fundoplication; the "Toupet" procedure, an "incomplete" fundic wrap, and others, including laparoscopic procedures.

The advent of NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) has brought a new procedure: Transoral Incisionless fundoplication (TIF), where a pseudovalve is created using an endoscope inserted into the esophagus and stomach through the oral cavity without abdominal  incisions or trocar ports. For more information on this procedure, click here. Clicking on the inferior image will start a six-minute video of the TIF procedure and the EsophX device.