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Upper GI Surgery


Comprehensive Guide to Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery: Procedures, Recovery, and Risks

Upper GI surgery, or upper gastrointestinal surgery, is a specialized field of surgery that focuses on treating conditions of the upper digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This type of surgery is often used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach ulcers, and certain types of cancer. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of upper GI surgery, including common procedures, recovery, and risks.


Common Procedures in Upper GI Surgery

There are several common procedures performed in upper GI surgery, each aimed at treating specific conditions:

  • Fundoplication: This procedure is used to treat GERD by wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the lower esophagus to strengthen the sphincter and prevent acid reflux.
  • Gastrectomy: A gastrectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the stomach. It is often used to treat stomach cancer or other conditions that affect the stomach.
  • Hiatal Hernia Repair: A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach protrudes into the chest cavity through the diaphragm. Surgery may be needed to repair the hernia and prevent complications.
  • Esophagectomy: This procedure involves removing part or all of the esophagus. It is often used to treat esophageal cancer or severe cases of GERD.
  • Bariatric Surgery: Some types of bariatric surgery, such as sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass, are considered upper GI surgeries. These procedures are used to help people lose weight by restricting the amount of food they can eat.

Recovery and Risks

Recovery from upper GI surgery can vary depending on the specific procedure and individual factors. In general, most patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery and may need several weeks to fully recover. During this time, it is important to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding diet, activity, and medication.

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with upper GI surgery, including infection, bleeding, and complications related to anesthesia. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you before the procedure and take steps to minimize them.


Upper GI surgery is a specialized field of surgery that focuses on treating conditions of the upper digestive tract. Common procedures include fundoplication, gastrectomy, hiatal hernia repair, esophagectomy, and bariatric surgery. Recovery from upper GI surgery can vary, and there are risks associated with the procedure. If you are considering upper GI surgery, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your surgeon to determine if it is the right option for you.