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New incisionless surgical procedure for acid reflux at Owosso hospital

Owosso -- What may have seemed like science fiction, surgery without an incision, is now a reality that is making lives better for patients suffering from chronic acid reflux also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). At Memorial Healthcare, patients now have access to the TIF (transoral incisionless fundoplication) procedure for the treatment of GERD.

The TIF procedure with the EsophyX device can significantly improve quality of life for patients. Many patients take reflux medications which suppress acid production such as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) to help relieve their heartburn symptoms and are still unable to eat the foods they want or have to sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux. In addition recent studies have shown that long term use of PPIs can lead to inadequate absorption of minerals such as calcium leading to bone fractures. Studies have also shown that PPIs can interact with other prescription medications reducing their efficacy. Clinical studies show that at two years after the TIF procedure nearly 80% of patients are off their daily reflux medications and can eat and drink foods and beverages they avoided for many years. Reflux no longer impacts their life like it previously did.

In a healthy patient, there is a natural valve between the esophagus and the stomach that forms a physical barrier preventing stomach fluids from backwashing, or "refluxing," up into the esophagus. "In a patient with chronic GERD, this valve has become dysfunctional," explains Nathan Tomita, D.O., M.P.H., a general and bariatric surgeon on staff at Memorial Healthcare. "The TIF procedure reconstructs the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to prevent reflux," explains Dr. Tomita. It is based on the same well proven principles of conventional more invasive laparoscopic GERD surgery. TIF's advantage is that it is 'surgery from within' performed transorally (through the mouth). Because the procedure is incisionless, there is reduced pain, no visible scar and most patients can get back to their normal activities within a few days.

With millions of Americans diagnosed with GERD and not fully satisfied with their treatment options, the TIF procedure with the EsophyX device offers an excellent alternative. The EsophyX procedure is just one of the many minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgeries performed at Memorial Healthcare.

If you or someone you know suffers with chronic GERD and would like more information about how TIF can get you back to living without the pills and without heartburn plan to attend a FREE EsophyX orientation session. For upcoming dates call 989.723.3168 or visit

Source:, Jan 21, 201


By Mortin - Copyright 2010
Last modification 05/02/2010