Casey J. Graybeal, MD performed the new Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication procedure, or TIF®, using the EsophyX® device for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Graybeal is a general and thoracic surgeon with expertise in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and is a physician with Northeast Georgia Surgical Associates,
“The TIF procedure with the EsophyX® device can significantly improve quality of life for many of our reflux patients.” said Dr. Graybeal. “Reflux medications like PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors; for example: Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid) can help relieve patients’ heartburn symptoms but don’t solve the underlying anatomical problems or necessarily prevent further disease progression. Even on PPI’s, many patients continue to experience symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation and are unable to eat the foods they enjoy. Recent studies have also begun to document the long term side effects of these medications, among which are inadequate absorption of calcium, increased osteoporosis risk, and higher risk of certain gastrointestinal infections. After the TIF® procedure, clinical trials show that most patients can eat and drink foods they avoided for many years, and most will not require any medication for their reflux. Reflux no longer impacts their lives like it previously did.”
The TIF® procedure is based on established principles of surgical repair of the anti-reflux barrier, except that it is “surgery from within” performed transorally (through the mouth). The TIF® procedure reduces the hiatal hernia and creates a valve between the stomach and esophagus, restoring the natural anatomy to prevent gastroesophageal reflux. Because the procedure is incisionless, there is reduced pain, reduced recovery time and no scars. Other potential benefits include a more normal gastrointestinal function after the procedure, as compared to current surgical techniques.
The TIF® procedure represents the next step in the evolution of surgery. Laparoscopy reduces skin incisions typical of open surgery to three-to-five small scars. However, laparoscopy still involves the same internal incisions and organ dissection as open surgery. TIF® using the EsophyX® device requires neither internal incisions nor dissection. TIF® lowers the hurdle for receiving an anatomical restoration of the gastroesophageal valve and allows earlier intervention of anti-reflux disease.
“Recent studies of TIF® have shown that the procedure can reduce patients’ dependency on medications, with 80 percent of patients remaining symptom free and off medications for relux after two years and experiencing a dramatic improvement in their quality of life,” said Dr. Graybeal.