Healthwatch: Stopping Chronic Acid Reflux

Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, or TIF, is a procedure that leaves no visible scarring and has no risk of an infection from an incision; that's because there isn't one. The procedure to treat chronic acid reflux is available for the first time in Meridian at Rush Hospital.

TIF was developed in Belgium. Instead of an incision, an instrument called a gastroscope is inserted in the mouth and down the throat.

"With a very technical instrument that is passed over, the gastroscope, through which you can pass instruments to basically create the valve from the inside instead of creating it from the outside," explained general surgeon, Dr. David Makey.

It creates a a physical barrier to block any acid reflux.

"The procedure on average will probably take about 45 minutes," said Makey. "Most patients will be able to go home the next day."

Early indications are that anywhere from 70% to 80% of those who receive the surgery will be able to completely stop using medications to treat chronic acid reflux after the procedure.

"They'll have a sore throat but they're not going to have any pain otherwise," said Makey.

The sore throat is expected to only last one day, requiring only a throat lozenge to sooth it. According to Dr. Makey, after the procedure, the patient can return to work right away.

"Very, very few complications, if any, very safe," Makey said.

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