What may have seemed like science fiction, surgery without an incision, is now a reality that is giving back patients suffering from chronic acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) a normal life. The London Gastroenterology Centre is now offering the TIF procedure for the treatment of GERD.
In a healthy patient, there is a natural valve between the esophagus and the stomach that forms a physical barrier preventing stomach fluids from backwashing, or “refluxing,” up into the esophagus. In a patient with chronic GERD, this valve has become dysfunctional. Many patients take reflux medications such as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors), which suppress acid production, to help relieve their heartburn symptoms. Even with PPIs, they are still unable to eat the foods they want or need to sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux. In addition, recent studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs is linked to inadequate absorption of minerals, chronic kidney disease and dementia. GERD sufferers just want to get back to living normal lives.
How Does TIF Work?
TIF is an acronym, transoral incisionless fundoplication, and the advantage is that it is ‘surgery from within’ performed through the mouth. Based on the same well proven principles of conventional, more invasive laparoscopic GERD surgery, the TIF procedure reconstructs the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to prevent reflux. Because the procedure is incisionless, there is reduced pain, no visible scar and most patients can get back to their normal activities within a few days.
What is the Success Rate?
The TIF procedure with the EsophyX device can significantly improve quality of life for patients. Clinical studies show that at three years after the TIF procedure 70% were able to completely stop PPI therapy, reflux esophagitis healed in 87% of patients and 91% of patients reported elimination of troublesome regurgitation. Reflux no longer impacts their life like it previously did. With millions of patients diagnosed with GERD and not fully satisfied with their treatment options, the TIF procedure with the EsophyX device offers an excellent alternative.