That allows us to deal with larger, complex operations in a much simpler fashion in a minimally invasive way, Gonzalez said.
Hiatal hernia repair can be accomplished with the robot via four quarter-inch incisions, and, in some cases, one single incision. Both options allow for fewer complications and a quicker recovery.
The surgery was over in a day and I was out the next day, Tyler said.
Upon release, patients are instructed to consume easily digestible foods like soups and other soft items. I only made one mistake, Tyler said. You have to drink soup. I got so sick of eating soup I could write a book. My wife had cooked herself a steak and the aroma of that steak was wafting over to my side of the table. I cut off five small pieces. That was unbelievably painful so I learned my lesson.
Gonzalez also points toward a transoral incisionless procedure for select patients with smaller hiatal hernias. This surgical option uses the EsophX device, which is introduced into the body through the mouth rather than abdominal incision and affords 270 degrees of movement, he said. Recuperation is quick with an overnight stay, usually for nausea, he said.
This method manipulates tissue folds to form a stronger reflux valve.
Esophageal ablation to treat Barrett syndrome abnormal changes in the cells of the esophagus is another minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that removes the damaged outer layers of the lining of the esophagus that can put a patient at risk for developing cancer. During ablation, the tissue is heated, thus killing the undesired cells lining the esophagus. The Halo ablation procedure uses radio frequencies to eradicate the cells.
Barrett is a precursor to cancer, said Dr. Barry Migicovsky, chief of gastroenterology at Memorial Regional in Hollywood. Cancer has to be found relatively early so we can do endoscopy, scoop out the tissue, and do radiofrequency ablation to remove the abnormal cells. Once we eradicate Barrett, patients have to be put on meds indefinitely; if not, this cycle will start all over again.
The best medicinal treatment options are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium, Dexilant and Prilosec, said Garjian of Baptist. The medications are generally effective and work very well.
But long-term use of the meds can increase chances for osteoporosis by interfering with the absorption of calcium and vitamin B12.
We dont know what other vitamins can be affected as well yet, Garjian said, adding that lifestyle changes, like proper diet and exercise, might be a persons best bet at warding off acid reflux.
It does go away for some people so lifestyle modification is very important.
A previous version of this article inadvertently left out the first name and title of Dr. Anthony Gonzalez, chief of surgery at Baptist Hospital.
Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.