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Fundoplication in Children

AMBULATORY CARE:

What you need to know about fundoplication:

Fundoplication is surgery to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). During this surgery, the top part of your stomach is wrapped around the lower part of your esophagus. This prevents stomach acid from moving up into your esophagus.

How to prepare your child for surgery:

Your child may need to have tests such as an endoscopy with biopsy (small samples of tissue are taken) or a pH study before surgery. Ask your child's healthcare provider more about these tests. Do not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you what medicines to give or not give your child the morning of surgery.

What will happen during your child's surgery:

  • Your child will be given general anesthesia to keep them asleep and pain free during surgery. Your child will be given antibiotics to prevent an infection.
  • Your child's surgery may be done as an open procedure. During an open procedure a large incision will be made in his or her abdomen. Your child's surgery may instead, be done laparoscopically. Several small incisions will be made in his or her abdomen. Your child's healthcare provider will put a scope and tools through the incisions to do the surgery.
  • The upper portion of your child's stomach will be wrapped around the esophagus. This will help the valve between the esophagus and stomach close better. His or her healthcare provider may also repair the muscles in the esophagus if they are weak. The incisions are then closed with stitches or surgical tape and covered with bandages.

What will happen after your child's surgery:

Healthcare providers will help your child walk down the halls to prevent blood clots. Your child may have a nasogastric (NG) tube in his or her nose. The NG tube goes through his or her nose into their stomach. It will be attached to suction. This will prevent fluid from backing up into the stomach. It also allows your child's surgery area to start healing. Your child may have a catheter in his or her bladder. Your child can go home when he or she is eating and drinking and their pain is controlled.

Risks of surgery:

Your child may bleed more than expected or get an infection. If your child's wrap slips or moves his or her GERD may come back or they may experience bloating or trouble swallowing. Your child may have a reaction to the anesthesia. Your child's esophagus, stomach, or other organs may be damaged during surgery.

Call 911 if:

  • Your child has trouble breathing, chest pain, or a fast heart beat.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child has a fever or chills, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Your child's incision is bleeding
  • Your child has blood in his or her stools (may be bright red or black).

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has pus or redness around the incision.
  • Your child is unable to eat or drink.
  • Your child's stomach is full or bloated.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Medicines:

Your child may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Make sure your child takes his antibiotics until they are gone, even if he feels better.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given to your older child.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Slowly give your child soft foods as directed. Ask your child's healthcare provider when he or she can resume their usual diet.
  • Return to daily activities and exercise as directed. Slowly start to do more each day.

Wound care:

Keep your child's wounds clean and dry. When your child is allowed to bathe or shower carefully wash his or her incisions with soap and water. Dry the area and put on a new, clean bandage if directed.

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.