Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (Incisionless GERD Procedure)
Surgery is an option for patients with severe GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms who aren't helped by medications or lifestyle changes, like diet changes or weight loss.
GERD, also known as acid reflux, is a condition where food or liquid leaks backward from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach). Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux.
Incisionless GERD Treatment
UVA is the first medical center is this area to offer a surgical procedure called transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF), which doesn’t require any abdominal incisions.
TIF treats the underlying cause of GERD instead of the symptoms. This innovative procedure allows doctors to reconstruct the antireflux valve, which is the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach.
How Does the TIF Procedure for GERD Work?
- A small fiberoptic camera (called an endoscope) and a surgical device are inserted through the patient’s mouth and directed to the junction of the esophagus and stomach.
- The surgeon uses plastic sutures to lengthen and strengthen the junction between the stomach and esophagus. This rebuilds the muscle in the lower esophagus from the inside and prevents acid reflux from occurring.
- The procedure usually takes less than one hour. It's done with an overnight hospital stay, and general anesthesia is required.
What are the Benefits of TIF?
After the TIF procedure, most patients can return to eating and drinking foods they previously avoided.
Other benefits include:
- No external incisions or scarring.
- More rapid recovery.
- Fewer side effects and minimal pain.
How Long Will It Take to Recover?
Most patients can go home the day after the procedure and return to work and other normal activities within a few days.
You may experience some discomfort in your stomach, chest, nose or throat for a few days or a week after the procedure. You'll also need to restrict physical activity for the first week and follow dietary guidelines that will give you time to heal.
Who Is Eligible for the Incisionless GERD Procedure?
Patients with moderate to severe GERD are candidates for the procedure.
Patients who aren't eligible for the surgery include those with large hiatal hernias or those who've had previous surgery near the junction (meeting) of their stomach and esophagus.
If you think you have GERD, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your symptoms and the best treatment options for you.