TIF Procedure for GERD Treatment

Stomach acid reflux triggered by GERD can damage the esophagus tissue lining and cause inflammation and pain over time. Long-lasting, untreated GERD in adults can permanently damage the esophagus and cause various complications.

Advanced Solutions for Lasting Relief From GERD Symptoms

At Brookwood Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, you'll find comprehensive care that includes:

  • Advanced diagnostic procedures performed in a comfortable hospital setting, such as esophageal motility testing, a procedure that helps gastroenterologists evaluate the movement and pressure of muscle contractions in the esophagus
  • TIF procedure for GERD and other minimally invasive surgical treatments for digestive disorders, such as heartburn, motility disorders and hiatal hernias
  • Personalized treatment plan tailored to our patient's symptoms and needs

Together, we can help you navigate your digestive health through advanced technology and compassionate care. From motility testing to incision-free surgical treatments, our experienced gastroenterologists and staff will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan to manage and improve your gut health.

HealthCare is Better Together. Let our extensive network of providers attend to your healthcare needs. Fill out our request referral form or call 833-251-9895, and we'll connect you to our dedicated staff to provide helpful information about our doctors and services and assist you in making an appointment.

What Is GERD?

The esophagus is the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Its primary role is to transfer solids and liquids into the stomach. With each swallow, the muscles in the esophagus contract and push the food into the stomach. A valve-like ring (a special sphincter muscle) at the bottom of the esophagus prevents the stomach's contents from moving backward. It remains closed except when swallowing food or liquid, belching or vomiting.

Gastroesophageal reflux, also known as acid reflux or acid regurgitation, happens when the stomach contents come back into the esophagus. In some cases, gastroesophageal reflux can cause heartburn, a painful, burning feeling in the mid-chest behind the breastbone that rises toward the throat. Having acid reflux once in a while is common, but when it interferes with everyday activities or causes pain, it may be time to seek help.

Chronic acid reflux may lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, a more severe and long-lasting condition in which acid reflux causes persistent typical and atypical symptoms, inconsistent sleep patterns, dietary restrictions, additional health care costs and lost productivity from work. About 20% of Americans have GERD, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Acid reflux symptoms can vary from mild or moderate to severe, depending on the individual. These symptoms include:

  • Abdominal fullness or bloating
  • Asthma
  • Bad breath
  • Choking while eating or drinking
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Dental erosions or gum disease
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Discomfort in ears and nose
  • Excessive salivation
  • Excessive throat clearing
  • A feeling of having a lump in the throat
  • Frequent burping
  • Gas
  • Heartburn and chest pain
  • Laryngitis and hoarseness
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • Scratchy throat
  • A sensation of food stuck in the throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sour or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Sudden coughing episodes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Wheezing

What Causes GERD?

GERD occurs when the valve or sphincter at the lower end of the esophagus does not close as it should, allowing food, fluid and stomach acid to move back up or reflux into the esophagus. Acid reflux symptoms include heartburn, dry cough, asthma or trouble swallowing. Sometimes, people with GERD can taste stomach fluid in the back of the mouth. Many notice their heartburn is worse after eating or when lying down.

Pregnancy can worsen GERD symptoms as well as certain medicines, such as:

  • Anticholinergics for sea sickness
  • Beta-blockers for high blood pressure or heart disease
  • Bronchodilators for asthma or other lung diseases
  • Calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure
  • Dopamine-active drugs for Parkinson's disease
  • Progestin for abnormal menstrual bleeding or birth control
  • Sedatives for insomnia or anxiety
  • Theophylline for asthma or other lung diseases
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Healthy lifestyle changes and medicines are the most common treatments for GERD symptoms. Some of the lifestyle changes that can help reduce the bothersome symptoms of GERD include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • If symptoms worsen at night, elevate the head 6 to 8 inches during sleep by placing extra pillows under the head and upper back
  • Having dinner two to three hours before going to sleep
  • Avoiding certain medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Taking acetaminophen for pain relief
  • Drinking plenty of water, especially when taking medicines

Over-the-counter and prescription medicines, such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 blockers, decrease the amount of acid produced in the stomach and lower the amount of acid released. In some cases, anti-reflux surgical procedures, such as the TIF procedure, may be an option for people with chronic GERD.

What Is a TIF Procedure?

A healthy and functioning gastroesophageal valve works like a cover that keeps acid where it should be. Fundoplication is the most common surgical procedure that provides long-term improvement of GERD symptoms. During a minimally invasive fundoplication procedure, a surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen to insert special tools. These special tools allow surgeons to sew the top of the stomach around the end of the esophagus to add pressure to the lower esophageal sphincter and help prevent reflux. In open fundoplication, surgeons make a larger cut in the abdomen to operate.

Techniques in performing the fundoplication procedure have evolved over the years. Today, surgeons can perform a transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) procedure as an effective and promising therapeutic option to treat various digestive disorders, including GERD, Barrett's esophagus and esophagitis.

The TIF procedure involves creating a stronger, more supportive band of tissue where the stomach meets the esophagus. TIF eliminates the need for cutting stomach tissue by accessing the esophageal valve through the oral pathway using a flexible, camera-equipped device to wrap the gastric fundus (a top piece of the stomach) around the esophagus so the acid will not flow back and cause GERD symptoms. Special fasteners help secure the newly created esophageal valve.

How Long Does TIF Procedure Last?

The procedure typically lasts no more than an hour.

How Long Does It Take To Heal After TIF Procedure?

Most people can go home within 24 hours with instructions to call their doctor in the event of unwanted symptoms or complications after surgery. To date, the TIF procedure has improved GERD symptoms, cessation or reduction of proton pump inhibitor medication in about 75% of patients for up to six years.

Insurances Accepted and Payment Plan Options

Putting your health first requires making important decisions. At Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, you can rest assured that we'll provide you with all the information you need upfront, including financial obligations.

We have made it easier for you to make payment arrangements that fit your budget through out-of-pocket prices and procedures for your peace of mind. Brookwood Baptist Medical Center works with various insurance providers and offers flexible payment plans for most treatments and procedures. Call 833-850-5053 to learn how we make healthcare more affordable.

Your health can't wait. If you have an upcoming procedure or surgery you've been putting off; our dedicated staff is ready to address your questions and help make financial arrangements. Visit our patient financial resources page to learn about our insurance, billing, payment plans, pricing information and estimates.

Find a Gastroenterologist in Central Alabama

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center is here to help you understand your condition and explore treatment options if you already have a diagnosis. We are here with safe and compassionate care, always.

Let's help you stay on top of your gut health. Please call 833-251-9895 or find a doctor near your location. If it's an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Please don't delay care.

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