We’ve all experienced occasional heartburn, whether it be nighttime discomfort after a bowl of chili or indigestion after an oversized lunch. But for some patients, heartburn is one symptom of a more serious medical condition, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD can prevent patients from eating certain foods, interrupt sleep, and impact daily life in other ways. The most common treatment for GERD is medication. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) can be used to treat the symptoms of GERD, but they don’t treat the underlying anatomical cause of the disease. Meanwhile, patients who take PPI still often experience sleep disturbances and avoid certain foods. These medications also prevent the body from absorbing minerals, especially calcium, correctly, increasing the patient’s risk for bone fractures and other health complications.
A Treatment Breakthrough
Now patients have another option, which treats not just the symptoms of GERD, but also the cause of the disease. The procedure is called transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF), and it uses a device called the Esophyx® to surgically repair the body without any incisions.
During TIF, the doctor performs surgery through the patient’s mouth. He repairs the antireflux barrier, creating a natural valve between the stomach and esophagus. Since the procedure requires no incisions, patients experience reduced pain, shorter recovery, and no visible scars. Research shows that 79% of patients who undergo the TIF Esophyx procedure still require no medication for GERD two years later.
Now two doctors at Central Florida Regional Hospital are the first in our area to offer this cutting-edge procedure. William Huether, MD, and John Robertson, MD, are the first specialists in Seminole and West Volusia Counties to be trained on the procedure.
“We are very excited to be able to offer our patients the same incredible benefits as more invasive procedures without incisions,” said Dr. Huether. “The TIF procedure can significantly improve quality of life for our patients.”
For more information on TIF or GERD, please contact us at Central Florida Regional Hospital. Visit us online or call 1-800-445-3392 for answers to your questions and free referrals to specialists near you.