News, Announcements and Expert Commentary from Inova

New TIF Procedure Offers a Better Solution for Chronic Heartburn

Treatment offers alternative to traditional surgery for acid reflux

TIF procedure illustration

During a TIF procedure, the device, used with a flexible endoscope, is lowered into the stomach from the esophagus (main image). The upper part of the stomach is folded up and around the lower part of the esophagus (inset). Fasteners are then delivered through the layers of esophageal and upper stomach tissue to anchor the repair. This process is repeated to fuse the esophageal and upper stomach tissues and form the valve, which prevents reflux. Illustrations: EndoGastric® Solutions

Providing the best patient experience means staying on top of the latest in medical technology. Starting July 1, doctors at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (IFOH) began performing the new TIF 2.0 procedure on patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux. The purpose of the procedure is to relieve patients of chronic, intense heartburn without the side effects of more traditional surgery.

“TIF doesn’t require any surgical wounds, and there is no scarring and less time is spent in the operating room. It doesn’t have the same side effects as [traditional] laparoscopic surgery used to treat GERD,” says Allen Blosser, MD, gastroenterologist at IFOH. “TIF is an example of how we can now repair lower esophageal issues with an endoscopic approach rather than a surgical approach; we don’t have to open the patient’s abdomen. This is the newest wave of treatment options.”

Dr. Blosser explains that with more traditional laparoscopic surgery, GERD patients often experience side effects such as difficulty swallowing, belching or vomiting. In particular, being unable to belch often causes uncomfortable gas bloating throughout a patient’s GI system. TIF avoids these complications while also being a less involved procedure with consistent positive outcomes.

And while most patients who would be candidates for traditional GERD surgery will also be candidates for the TIF procedure, Dr. Blosser emphasizes that offering the latest and greatest in technology is only one aspect of IFOH’s approach to treatment.

“We have one of the highest safety and response scores of any hospital on the East Coast,” he says. “We have an outstanding GI department and surgical department with superior outcomes. And while we’ve been recognized for bringing in new technology [such as TIF], our quality is due to the skill of our doctors and staff as well as the alternatives to surgery that we offer.”

What Is GERD (or Acid Reflux)?

CONDITION:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux:

A digestive disorder in which the lower esophageal sphincter is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.

GERD Stomach

Symptoms:

Bad taste in mouth, food regurgitation, chronic cough and/or sore throat, burning pain in chest, stomach pain, bloating

Causes:

Bad diet, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, medications, eating close to bedtime, pregnancy

Things to avoid:

Trigger foods, heavy meals, alcohol, lying down after meals, smoking


NonSurgical Solutions for Acid Reflux

For more information on Inova Fair Oaks Hospital’s endoscopy services, call 703-391-3600.

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