Your doctor may recommend surgery if:
- You have extremely severe damage to your esophagus.
- You have internal bleeding due to esophagitis.
- You have esophageal strictures that keep returning.
- You have respiratory problems related to GERD that don't respond to treatment.
- Your are younger and have severe esophagitis or frequently recurring symptoms that may require lifelong treatment.
If you're like the majority of people who have GERD, medication and lifestyle changes may be enough to manage your symptoms and help heal any damage that might have already occurred to your esophagus. In some cases, however, medication may not be enough, and your doctor might recommend surgery.
Many people hear the word surgery and want to run in the other direction. Keep in mind that the goal of surgery for GERD is to improve the function of the esophagus, not remove it. Surgery is necessary in only about 5% of people who have GERD.
If your doctor has recommended surgery or if you're interested in learning more, see What do I need to know about GERD surgery?