Memorial Health April 10, 2019

Charleston, SC — Memorial Health University Medical Center is the first hospital in Savannah to offer the minimally invasive TIF procedure for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The TIF procedure (transoral incisionless fundoplication) is performed completely without incisions and patients experience less pain and fewer complications than conventional surgery with a faster recovery time.

More than 20 million Americans suffer from daily heartburn and other reflux symptoms. Many patients take daily medications and make lifestyle changes, but still do not experience satisfactory relief of their GERD symptoms. TIF is a good solution for patients with moderate to severe GERD.

"The TIF procedure can significantly improve the quality of life for GERD patients," said George Aragon, MD, gastroenterologist. "Clinical trials show that after the TIF procedure many patients are able to stop taking their acid reflux medications and acid reflux doesn't impact their life like it did before."

The TIF procedure is based on established principles of surgical repair, except that it is performed without incisions and performed through the mouth with an endoscope — the same equipment used to diagnose GERD. The procedure reduces a hiatal hernia and rebuilds the valve between the stomach and esophagus, helping restore the natural anti-reflux barrier.

For patients with a hiatal hernia larger than 2 centimeters, the physician will perform a TIF procedure with an endoscope after repairing the hernia laparoscopically.

"Combining a minimally invasive hiatal hernia repair with the TIF procedure offers several benefits for the patient," said Christopher Senkowski, MD, surgeon. "The patient is only under anesthesia once, can usually go home the same day and recovery time is about the same."

The TIF procedure is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare.