Anti-reflux surgery - children - discharge
Your child had surgery to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition that causes acid, food, or liquid to come up from the stomach into the esophagus. This is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
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When Your Child Was in the Hospital
During the operation, the surgeon wrapped the upper part of your child's stomach around the end of the esophagus.
The surgery was done in one of these ways:
Your child may also have had a pyloroplasty. This is a procedure that widened the opening between the stomach and small intestine. The doctor may have also placed a g-tube (gastrostomy tube) in the child's belly for feeding.
What to Expect at Home
Most children can go back to school or daycare as soon as they feel well enough.
Your child may have a feeling of tightness when swallowing. This is from the swelling inside your child's esophagus. Your child may also have some bloating. These should go away in 6 to 8 weeks.
Recovery is faster from laparoscopic surgery than from open surgery.
You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your child's primary care provider or gastroenterologist after the surgery.
Care at Home
You'll slowly help your child get back to a regular diet.
If your child had a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) placed during surgery, it can be used for feeding and venting. Venting is when the G-tube is opened to release air from the stomach, similar to burping.
For pain, you can give your child over-the-counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). If your child is still having pain, call your child's doctor.
If sutures (stitches), staples, or glue were used to close your child's skin:
If strips of tape were used to close your child's skin:
DO NOT allow your child to soak in a bathtub or hot tub or go swimming until your child's doctor tells you it is OK.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your child's health care provider if your child has:
Iqbal CW, Holcomb GW. Gastroesophageal reflux. In: Holcomb GW, Murphy JP, Ostlie DJ, eds. Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 28.
Lightdale JR, Gremse DA; Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Gastroesophageal reflux: management guidance for the pediatrician. Pediatrics. 2013;131(5):e1684-e1695. PMID: 23629618 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23629618.
Review Date: 2/6/2017
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery (Pediatrics), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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