What is TIF ?
The TIF procedure treats the underlying cause of GERD/heartburn without incisions. This allows patients to have a robust surgery without the morbidity of incisions on their abdomen. This innovative procedure reconstructs the anti-reflux valve (Lower Esophageal Sphincter) using a device called the EsophyX device.
The TIF procedure is performed by introducing an instrument and a camera into a patients mouth and directing it under visual guidance into the patients stomach. The EsophyX device is used to construct a durable anti-reflux valve and tighten the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), thus reestablishing the body’s natural barrier to reflux.
Is TIF effective ?
It is important that this procedure be performed on a select population of GERD patients by a specially trained physician in order for patients to have superior results. The Tampa Bay Reflux Center is proud to have 80% of their patients with complete resolution of their GERD symptoms off of all antacid medications after undergoing a TIF procedure.
For those patients that have a hiatal hernia greater than 2 centimeters, the TIF procedure produces sub-optimal results. For these patients, we still recommend laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair and Nissen fundoplication in order that we can fix the hiatal hernia and cure a patient’s reflux simultaneously.
Benefits of TIF
- No external skin incisions – no scarring
- No internal cutting or dissecting of the natural anatomy – more rapid recovery
- Fewer adverse events and complications
- Does not limit future treatment options
- Can be revised if required
Is TIF safe ?
This procedure has now been performed in thousands of patients and to date, side effects have been short-lived and minimal.
What should you expect ?
The TIF procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure itself will take about an hour to perform. Patients are then admitted overnight for observation and go home the following day around lunch time.
Patients should expect to experience some discomfort in their stomach, chest, shoulder, nose and throat for the first few days to a week after the procedure. Patients will be asked to restrict physical activity for the first few weeks and will be given dietary guidelines to help maximize their success while the tissue heals.
After Fundoplication Surgery
Most patients leave the hospital the day after surgery. If their job does not require strenuous activity, they are usually able to return to work in one to two weeks. After surgery, you will be kept on a soft diet in order that food does not get stuck secondary to swelling immediately after surgery. Specific diet instructions are located here. You will want to chew slowly and thoroughly and avoid carbonated beverages. Fully cooked pasta and vegetables are a good choice while heavy meats and raw vegetables are likely to cause problems. Once the swelling has dissipated within four to six weeks, you will be able to resume eating all foods without restrictions including those that used to cause reflux symptoms!
We follow all of our patients closely with appointments every 2-3 weeks after surgery. We usually see patients for 2 or 3 post-operative visits at which time they are usually eating all foods and off all their antacid medications. We call of our reflux patients yearly to ensure that they have continued resolution of their symptoms.