TIF Procedure (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication)
If you are suffering from persistent acid reflux, then you know how difficult it can make daily activities like eating a meal or sleeping through the night. In the past, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients had fewer treatment options available. Often, they were forced to take daily medications for the rest of their lives or undergo surgery to alleviate their symptoms. Fortunately, a new treatment is proving successful for some reflux sufferers. The transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) procedure is a revolutionary incision-free surgical technique that relieves GERD symptoms for many patients.
If you would like to learn more about this revolutionary treatment for GERD, or find out if you are a candidate, contact La Peer’s newly remodeled Reflux Surgery Center of Excellence today at (888) 593-1042.
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Eligibility for the TIF Procedure
Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) is a highly effective procedure when performed by an experienced thoracic surgeon on a proper candidate. During a thorough consultation, our renowned thoracic surgeon will evaluate your specific acid reflux condition as well as your candidacy for the TIF procedure. Patients who meet the following criteria may be eligible:
- At least 18 years of age
- Experience discomforting or painful symptoms due to GERD
- Failing or only partially responding to heartburn medication or wanting to avoid long-term medication use
- If hiatal hernia is present, it is less than 2 cm in size
- No other serious anatomical abnormalities within the esophagus, including stricture, obstruction, motility disorder or large hiatal hernias
Undergoing TIF Surgery
You will be under general anesthesia during the procedure and will experience no pain or discomfort. During transoral incisionless fundoplication, our experienced thoracic surgeons will insert the FDA-approved EsophyX device through the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. The camera-equipped endoscopic device allows our surgeons to visualize the inside of the stomach and esophagus throughout the entire procedure. Positioning the device at the spot where the stomach meets the esophagus, a portion of the stomach (fundus) is wrapped around to lengthen the lower esophagus and reconstruct a functioning valve. Once recreated, this valve will prevent acid from washing back into the esophagus and causing further damage and GERD symptoms.
The outpatient procedure lasts around 45-60 minutes and results in no scars. Research has shown that a natural healing process occurs following TIF surgery in which a layer of fibrous tissue secures the new acid reflux barrier (valve). Long-term clinical studies demonstrate that the TIF procedure is as durable and effective as traditional reflux surgery (Nissen fundoplication) with less long term complications.
After the TIF Procedure
You will likely need to maintain a liquid diet for two weeks after undergoing TIF surgery and stick to soft foods for another month. However, most patients are able to resume work and other activities just a few days after undergoing the procedure. Clinical studies have shown that 71 percent of patients were still free of reflux symptoms two years after undergoing TIF surgery, and 84 percent of patients were satisfied with the surgery after three years.
Benefits of the TIF Procedure
Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) has several advantages over traditional reflux surgery that can be very beneficial to patients. Because TIF is performed through the transoral route (mouth), it carries a much lower risk of complications associated with abdominal surgery, including dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), gas bloat and flatulence. As an incisionless procedure that avoids dissecting through layers of abdominal tissue, TIF results in reduced post-operative pain and a faster recovery compared with more invasive methods of reflux surgery. Most patients can return to work within a few days following TIF symptom-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is a good candidate for transoral incisionless fundoplication?
A: TIF surgery is widely regarded as a safe option for many patients with chronic heartburn and those who want to reduce their dependency on life-long medication.
Q: Will I be in pain after the procedure?
A: You should not be in pain after surgery, though you may experience some mild discomfort in the throat or chest. Talk to your doctor about taking OTC pain medications after surgery.
Q: When can I resume working after surgery?
A: Because transoral incisionless fundoplication is an incision-free procedure, the recovery time is relatively fast. You should be able to return to work in a few days.
Q: Is the procedure covered by insurance?
A: Some health plans do cover the TIF procedure. A representative from the Reflux Surgery Center can help if you have questions about your health plan’s coverage.
Find Out if TIF Is Right for You
If your reflux does not respond well to medication or you want to reduce your life-long dependency on drugs, you might be a candidate for transoral incisionless fundoplication surgery. Performed at our beautiful, safe surgical facility in Beverly Hills, the procedure offers new hope for GERD sufferers who don’t want to resort to more invasive traditional surgery to find relief.
Call (888) 593-1042 or fill out our contact form and a member of our staff will be in touch with you. During your initial consultation, you and a surgeon will discuss if this exciting new treatment is right for you.
Next, read more frequently asked questions about acid reflux treatment.