TIF Procedure: Treatment for Chronic Acid Reflux

If you’re living with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, you’re all too familiar with the discomfort: heart burn, chest pain (non-cardiac), and an acidic or metallic taste in your mouth. Those symptoms are the result of stomach acid flowing backward into your esophagus — the tube that connects the throat and stomach.

You might have tried changing your diet, not eating after a certain time each night, sleeping on your back and taking medication (antacids, histamine-2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors [PPIs]). But if that’s not working, or if you want to stop taking daily medication, you may want to consider a TIF procedure (transoral incisionless fundoplication).

How the TIF Procedure Relieves GERD

TIF is a minimally invasive procedure used to help control acid reflux by creating a barrier (fundoplication) at the top of your stomach, preventing gastric fluid and acid from backing up.

During the TIF procedure, your Mercy surgeon or gastroenterologist uses an endoscope (flexible tube with a camera) and an EsophyX (device to help fold stomach tissue).

The TIF procedure generally takes less than an hour. You’ll likely spend a night in the hospital for observation but should be able to go home the next day.

While your anti-reflux barrier heals, you’ll have to stick to a modified diet provided by your doctor. You may also experience temporary sore throat, shoulder pain, trouble swallowing, nausea or vomiting.

Benefits of the TIF Procedure

  • No external incisions. The TIF procedure is performed through your mouth while you’re under anesthesia, leaving you with no scarring.
  • No internal cutting. Traditional anti-reflux surgery requires the doctor to cut around other organs, which can lead to complications and a longer recovery period. There is no cutting involved with the TIF procedure.
  • Most patients have a minimal recovery time and are able to get back to normal activities within a few days.
  • Good safety record. Thousands of procedures have been performed worldwide with minimal complications. TIF patients rarely have long-term side effects like trouble swallowing, gas and bloating, which are common with conventional GERD surgery.

Research has shown that for up to six years after having a TIF procedure, more patients had fewer GERD symptoms and were able to stop using daily medications. In a study with a six year follow-up, 36% of patients were not taking PPIs, and an additional 50% had cut their dosage in half.

Don't continue to feel the burn. If you're suffering from acid reflux, talk to a Mercy surgeon or gastroenterologist about the TIF procedure. Find one near you.

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