Antelope Valley Hospital is the first hospital in the area to offer a surgical procedure called transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Also known as chronic acid reflux, GERD is a condition where food or liquid leaks backward from the stomach into the esophagus. Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux.
“The TIF procedure can be a life-changing option for people suffering with GERD who haven’t shown improvements with medications or lifestyle changes like diet or weight loss,” said Vivaik Tyagi, MD, a gastroenterologist at AVH. “The TIF procedure treats the underlying cause of GERD instead of the symptoms. We are proud to be at the forefront in making this innovative procedure available in our community.”
The TIF procedure, which doesn’t require any abdominal incisions, allows doctors to reconstruct the antireflux valve, which is the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach.
A small camera (endoscope) is inserted into a surgical device which goes through the patient’s mouth where the esophagus and stomach meet—the gastroesophageal valve (GEV). The surgeon uses plastic sutures to rebuild, lengthen and strengthen the GEV from the inside preventing abnormal reflux.
The procedure usually takes less than one hour. It’s done with an overnight hospital stay, and general anesthesia is required. Most patients can go home the day after the procedure and return to work and other normal activities within a few days. Once the new valve has healed after the TIF procedure, most patients are able to sleep normally and eliminate their dependence on anti-reflux medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Patients with moderate to severe GERD are candidates for the procedure. If you think you have GERD, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your symptoms and the best treatment options for you.