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New Procedure Gives Hope To Acid Reflux Sufferers

October 24, 2011

Augusta, GA  - In the United States more than 60 million people suffer from heart burn, and Doctors Hospital is one of the few in the country helping to reduce that number in a new way.

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) is the latest breakthrough procedure in helping patients suffering from Gastroesphogeal Reflux Disease (GERD).  Besides the fact that the results have been great for almost all patients, TIF is non-invasive with a very quick recovery time.    

Studies show that 7% of those in the Augusta area suffer from daily troublesome reflux.  The most common symptoms are heartburn, intolerance of certain foods like alcohol and chocolate, as well as chest discomfort.  If untreated, heartburn can lead to many different complications including esophageal strictures and in some cases, cancer. 

 “This simple, non-invasive procedure is extremely effective and can change a person’s life,” says Dr. Robert Scheirer, a general surgeon who is the first at Doctors to perform TIF.  “In studies conducted, nearly 60% of patients could eat or drink whatever they wanted at two years after the surgery, compared to 10% for other surgeries.”

“I’m proof that this surgery really works,” says Lee Borum, TIF patient.  “I’ve suffered from acid reflux for years, so bad that every night I’d have to sleep upright in a chair.  I even had pneumonia from the acid getting back into my lungs.”

The TIF procedure is a fairly simple one.  Doctors insert a tube-like device, called the EsophyX, down the patient’s throat.  It will fasten the tissue folds to reconstruct the antireflux valve where the esophagus and stomach meet, preventing acid from refluxing. 

“TIF only takes about 30 to 60 minutes, you’re back to work within three to seven days, and it really cuts back on patient complications,” says Scheirer.

“The years of sleeping upright in my chair at night are over and now I can eat and drink what I want.  There’s no doubt that this procedure has given me my life back,” says Borum.