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Surgery Without Incisions Now Available for Chronic Heartburn and Reflux

March 18, 2011

Central Florida Regional Hospital surgeons are first in Seminole and West Volusia Counties to offer Esophyx® surgery for patients suffering from GERD.

Sanford, FL – The new Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication procedure, or TIF, using the innovative EsophyX® device for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is now available at Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford.  William Huether, M.D., and John Robertson, M.D. of General & Vascular Surgical Associates are the first specialists in Seminole and West Volusia Counties to be trained on the TIF procedure. 

“The TIF procedure can significantly improve quality of life for our patients,” Dr. Huether said. “GERD is an anatomical problem which needs an anatomical solution. Reflux medication like PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) can help relieve patients' heartburn symptoms but don't solve the underlying anatomical problems or prevent further disease progression.”

Even on PPIs many patients are still unable to eat the foods they want or have to sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux, Huether said.  In addition, recent studies have shown that long term use of PPIs can lead to inadequate absorption of minerals such as calcium and can result in bone fractures.  After the TIF procedure, clinical trials show that most patients can eat and drink foods they avoided for many years.  Reflux no longer impacts their life like it previously did.

The TIF procedure is based on established principles of surgical repair of the antireflux barrier, except that it is “surgery from within” performed transorally (through the mouth).  The procedure reduces hiatal hernia and creates a valve between the stomach and esophagus restoring the natural, physiological anatomy to prevent gastroesophageal reflux.  Because the procedure is incisionless, there is reduced pain, reduced recovery and no visible scar.

The TIF procedure represents the next step in the evolution of surgery.  Laparoscopy reduced the skin incisions typical of open surgery to a minimally invasive three-to-five port holes.  However, laparoscopy still involves the same internal incisions and organ dissection as open surgery.  TIF requires neither internal incisions nor dissection, lowering the hurdle for receiving an anatomical restoration of the antireflux barrier. With millions of Americans diagnosed with GERD and not fully satisfied with their treatment options, TIF offers an excellent alternative.

“Recent studies of the TIF EsophyX procedure have shown that it can reduce patients’ dependency on medications with 79% of patients remaining off their daily medications after two years and experiencing a dramatic improvement in their quality of life,” Dr.  Huether said. “We are very excited to be able to offer our patients the same incredible benefits as more invasive procedures without incisions.”

For more information on EsophyX or to register for an upcoming seminar call (800) 445-3392.

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