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Open Pediatric Nissen Fundoplication


  • An open pediatric Nissen fundoplication (fun-do-pli-KA-shun) is surgery to treat your child's gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when the lower muscle of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter, does not close properly. The esophagus is the tube that carries food and liquid from your child's throat to his stomach (belly). GERD causes the acid and food in your child's stomach to reflux (move back up) into his esophagus. When the acid irritates and damages his esophagus, it may cause a burning feeling called heartburn. Nissen fundoplication may be done when GERD does not get better after medicines have been tried, or if other medical problems occur. It may be done if your child gets lung or breathing problems, fails to grow or gain weight, or has trouble swallowing.
  • Nissen fundoplication is surgery to wrap the top part of your child's stomach around the lower part of his esophagus. This puts pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, making food go down but not letting it come back up. Open surgery means this will be done by making a large incision (cut) in your child's abdomen (belly). With an open Nissen fundoplication, symptoms of GERD such as throwing up may stop, and damage to your child's esophagus may be prevented.
    Picture of the digestive system of a child



  • Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
  • 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.

Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.


Your child may need to have a soft diet for several weeks after surgery. Soft foods include puddings, applesauce, and mashed potatoes. Ask your caregiver for more information about a soft food diet.

Gastrostomy tube:

Your child may need to have a gastrostomy tube. This tube is used to give liquids, food, or medicine and let air or fluids out of your child's stomach. Ask caregivers for more information about feeding your child through the tube, and caring for the tube.


  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.
  • Your child has nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
  • Your child is irritable (fussy) and crying more than usual.
  • Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition, surgery, medicine, or care.


  • Your child feels very full and cannot burp or vomit (throw up).
  • Your child has severe chest or shoulder pain, or trouble breathing all of a sudden.
  • Your child is not able to eat or drink, or is urinating very little or not at all.
  • Your child is not able to have bowel movements.
  • Your child's bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • Your child's vomit is greenish in color, looks like coffee grounds, or has blood in it.
  • Your child's wound has pus or a bad smell coming from it.

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.