No more pills. No sleeping propped up at night. We offer a revolutionary solution for GERD.
Incisionless Surgery Akron General is the first northeast Ohio hospital to offer this state-of-the art surgery. This incisionless procedure for heartburn, TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication), can help reduce or eliminate reflux, reduce or eliminate the need for medication and alleviate symptoms, such as hoarseness, coughing and burning. There is no scarring and less potential for infection. It allows patients to return to work and normal activities faster than a procedure that requires incisions.
This procedure reconstructs the valve and restores the body’s natural protections against reflux. A device, called an endoscope is gently inserted through the mouth. Another device is then passed down through the esophagus allowing the surgeon to form and fasten tissue folds to create a valve. This recreates the natural anatomy. The average length of stay in the hospital for this procedure is just one day.
Minimally Invasive Surgery For medical reasons, including a hiatal hernia larger than 2 centimeters, the TIF procedure may not be right for some people. This same type of surgery may also be performed using another minimally invasive approach, called the laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. During this procedure, the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower esophageal sphincter to strengthen the sphincter, prevent acid reflux, and repair a hiatal hernia. Because the laparoscopic fundoplication is also a minimally invasive approach, hospital stays tend to be two days, with our patients averaging just 1.5 days. Patients may return to work within two to three weeks.
People Who Qualify for the TIF (Transoral Incisonless Fundoplication) Procedure Must:
Have GERD or reflux, which is documented through testing
Be between 18-65 years of age. Patients over the age of 65 are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Patients into their 80s have had success with surgery.
Be an acceptable medical risk for surgery
Be well informed, motivated and able to participate in treatment
Be compliant with appointments/treatments with their current physicians
Have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of less than 35, or be less than 60 lbs overweight
Stop using all tobacco products for at least three months before surgery, and commit to staying tobacco free after surgery
Medical Conditions That Prohibit People from Being a Candidate for TIF:
A hiatal hernia larger than 2 centimeters
Diagnosed with a motility (muscle) disorder of the esophagus
Diagnosed with esophageal cancer
Being obese or morbidly obese (60 pounds or more overweight, or having a BMI of 35 or greater). People who are 60 or more pounds overweight are candidates for another surgical procedure, the laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, which is also offered at Akron General.
Other Treatment Options
Lifestyle Changes Reflux occurring less than twice a week sometimes be managed with lifestyle changes such as:
Medications For people with mild symptoms, GERD may sometimes be managed using medications. For many people, however, reflux is a chronic condition and stopping medications can cause symptoms to come back. Medications can have side effects such as osteoporosis, drug interactions (eg with Plavix®) and they can be costly in the long term. And for those with complications such as erosive esophagitis, strictures or Barrett’s esophagus, it is especially important to stay on medication and /or seek surgical options such as above.