For more than 20 years Ardy Akerson suffered with gastroesophageal reflux disease, undermining her enjoyment of life and retirement.
“I was very uncomfortable,” Ardy explains. “I couldn’t eat a lot of foods I liked such as watermelon, cucumbers, green peppers, gravy, onions and garlic. My stomach was bloated all the time. I had trouble sleeping and was taking two ibuprofen at bedtime. I also took antacid pills for many years.”
Ardy learned from several friends and neighbors who have been successfully treated for GERD through the Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center in Aitkin and Crosby that there was a surgical solution for reflux.
In June 2016, she underwent a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin. This is a surgical procedure in which the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower end of the esophagus and stitched in place, reinforcing the closing function of the lower esophageal sphincter.
“I had no pain with this procedure and my heartburn is gone,” Ardy adds. “Now I can eat almost anything I want, taking smaller bites at a slower pace. I’ve lost 17 pounds and I feel better than I have in 20 years!”
At age 76, Ardy lives with her husband, John, on a lake north of Aitkin. Since her surgery, she has enjoyed more active living, such as caring for her lawn without becoming short of breath.
“I truly never thought this day would come where I can feel like a normal person again. I would highly recommend this surgery to anyone suffering from reflux disease.”
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