Commonly referred to as heartburn, GERD is as abnormally frequent or chronic acid reflux, normally when stomach fluid backs up into the esophagus exposing it to the acids of the stomach.
Left untreated, this prolonged exposure may result in inflammation, irritation and/or swelling of the esophagus. It can ultimately result in ulcers, stricture, hemorrhage or precancerous changes.
To treat GERD, TIF® is a surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia through the mouth and without incisions. It actually allows the surgeon to reconstruct an antireflux valve creating a physical barrier to reflux. Thus it eliminates both the acidic symptoms of reflux (heartburn and sore throat) and other associated symptoms such as asthma, cough and regurgitation.
Our general surgeon on staff at Baylor Scott & White – Lake Pointe is currently performing the TIF® procedure with positive results, and is supported by a gastroenterologist on our medical staff. Together, they are providing chronic GERD sufferers an alternative treatment that has proved effective in reducing or eliminating their GERD symptoms and getting them off their long term medications.
The Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF®) U.S. Registry recently reported more than 80 percent of patients report ongoing improvement or complete elimination of GERD symptoms two years after undergoing the TIF® procedure, reported at the 2013 Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) annual meeting.
There are also applications for using the TIF® in combination with other treatment procedures using robotic-assisted surgery, and the use of the EsophyX® device to perform the incisionless TIF® procedure. These hybrid robotic cases can help treat GERD and repair hernias. This approach may provide a faster recovery for the patients than traditional hiatal hernia repair.