A Surgical Solution for Heartburn Without Incisions – Now Being Performed At Salem Medical Center
TimmermanWhat may have seemed like science fiction, surgery without an incision, is now a reality that is giving back patients suffering from chronic acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) a normal life.
Daniel Timmerman, DO, chairman, Department of Surgery at Salem Medical Center, is now offering the TIF procedure for the treatment of GERD. He is the only surgeon in the greater South Jersey area offering this procedure.
“We are very excited to offer our patients the same benefits as more invasive surgery with minimal risk,” said Chief Executive Officer Tammy Torres, DNP, MS, RN.
“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,” said Dr. Timmerman. “In a patient with chronic GERD, this valve has become dysfunctional.”
To offset this “backwash,” Dr. Timmerman explained, many patients take reflux medications such as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors), which suppress acid production, to help relieve heartburn symptoms. “Even with PPIs, however, patients are still unable to eat the foods they want and may even need to sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux.”
In addition, recent studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs is linked to inadequate absorption of minerals, chronic kidney disease and dementia.
“GERD sufferers just want to get back to living normal lives,” said Dr. Timmerman.
TIF is an acronym for transoral incisionless fundoplication. Its advantage is that it is ‘surgery from within’ performed through the mouth. Based on the same principles of conventional, more invasive laparoscopic GERD surgery, the TIF procedure reconstructs the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to prevent reflux.
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.
“The TIF procedure can significantly improve quality of life for our patients,” said Dr. Timmerman. “Clinical studies show that at three years after the TIF procedure 70% were able to completely stop PPI therapy, reflux esophagitis healed in 87% of patients and 91% of patients reported elimination of troublesome regurgitation. Reflux no longer impacts their life like it previously did.”
With millions of Americans diagnosed with GERD and not fully satisfied with their treatment options, the TIF procedure offers an excellent alternative.
If you or someone you know suffers with chronic GERD and would like more information about how you can get you back to living without the pills and without heartburn, call Dr. Timmerman at (856) 279-2842.