Gastric & Esophageal Surgery

Treating Diseases of the Esophagus & Stomach

Minimally Invasive Gastric and Esophageal Surgery

Gastric and esophageal surgery, sometimes referred to as foregut surgery, is performed on the first portion of the digestive tract. The foregut, also called the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, includes the esophagus, which is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach, the stomach and the upper small intestine. Upper GI surgery is a specialized field of general surgery that requires advanced training. At the Chicago Institute of Advanced Surgery, our Chicago gastric surgery doctors and esophageal surgery surgeons are fellowship-trained in treating advanced pathology of the foregut.

Diseases of the esophagus and stomach that are treated with surgery include gastroesophageal reflux disease (sometimes called GERD or heartburn), hiatal hernia in which the stomach is displaced into the chest, and achalasia, which is a motility disorder of the esophagus that causes problems with swallowing. We also treat benign and malignant tumors of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.

We perform the most cutting-edge surgeries on these organs using the latest robotic and minimally invasive techniques to decrease pain and get patients back to their life as quickly as possible.

GERD Treatment Offered by Gastric Surgeons

In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the valve at the end of the esophagus no longer works properly, allowing stomach contents to travel up into the esophagus, causing heartburn, belching, regurgitation and/or difficulty swallowing. Moderate cases are treated with medications and lifestyle changes.

If those don’t relieve the symptoms, then laparoscopic reflux surgery is an option. This minimally invasive, reflux-curing surgery is performed via a few small incisions. The top of the stomach (fundus) is wrapped around the bottom of the esophagus, repairing the defective valve at the end of the esophagus. Unlike medications, this surgery completely eliminates all reflux.

Hiatal Hernia Surgery Performed at the CIAS

If you have a hiatal hernia, your stomach bulges into your chest through a hole or opening in the diaphragm. The appearance of symptoms — upper abdominal pain, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, difficulty eating, stomach ulcer and possibly GERD — means that surgical repair is warranted.

Surgical repair is performed laparoscopically through about 5 small incisions in the abdomen. During the procedure, a highly trained surgeon carefully moves the stomach back into the abdominal cavity and closes the hole in the diaphragm. A wrap similar to that done during GERD surgery is often completed to keep the stomach from reentering the chest cavity.

Laparoscopic and Robotic Achalasia Surgery

Achalasia is caused by damage to the nerves in the esophagus, resulting in an esophagus that can no longer push food down into the stomach and the inability of the lower esophageal sphincter to fully relax. Symptoms include vomiting, heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing and weight loss. Treatment options include Botox injections, medications, endoscopic dilation and minimally invasive surgery.

The goal of surgery is to eliminate achalasia by cutting the muscle fibers in the lower esophageal sphincter, improving the ability of the esophagus to discharge its contents. Small incisions are made in the patient’s abdomen via laparoscope or robotically. A surgical robot inserted into the incisions allows the doctor to clearly see the esophageal muscle fibers and increases the surgeon’s precision and accuracy.

Choose the Chicago Institute of Advanced Surgery

The highly trained, skilled and experienced gastric doctors at the CIAS perform gastric and esophageal cancer surgery using cutting-edge techniques and equipment. With laparoscopic and robotic tools, our minimally invasive operations have several post-surgery advantages, including reduced pain and faster recovery. If you have a gastric or esophageal problem that requires surgery, make an appointment today to discuss your options with one of our caring gastric or esophageal surgeons.

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