St. Elizabeth Healthcare is one of the first in the region to offer a new relief option for patients struggling with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
The most common GERD symptom is acid reflux – that uncomfortable heartburn sensation that many of us have occasionally felt after eating. However, when your acid reflux becomes chronic and severe, it is known as GERD.
For Northern Kentucky resident Pat Huffman, GERD significantly impacted what she could eat daily. Even on three daily medications, her GERD was still taking over her life.
“I had terrible heartburn after eating any food,” says Pat Huffman. “Anything mild would still give me heartburn – even a salad.” Pat met with Kartik Jinjuvadia, MD, Gastroenterologist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, to discuss treatment options for her increasing discomfort.
“GERD is the number one reason why patients come to see a gastroenterologist,” says Dr. Jinjuvadia. “It’s very common.”
GERD affects about 20% of Americans – one out of five people. Medications can provide short-term relief, but most GERD patients experience increasingly severe symptoms that impact diet, exercise and even restful sleep.
What is the TIF Procedure?
After evaluating Pat’s near-constant battle with GERD, Dr. Jinjuvadia suggested that Pat consider the Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) procedure. This innovative treatment option provides patients with permanent GERD relief without major surgery.
TIF is an outpatient procedure performed through the mouth – and with no need for an incision. An endoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end of it – is inserted into the patient’s mouth with a small tool attached.
The gastroenterologist uses the TIF tool to repair the natural barrier valve between the stomach and esophagus. The barrier valve prevents stomach acid from flowing back up the esophagus – causing painful acid reflux. Most GERD patients have a faulty barrier valve – and re-engaging that valve can eliminate GERD symptoms.
“Fixing the valve will prevent acid reflux,” says Dr. Jinjuvadia. “The procedure allows our patients to come off of their medication.”
The laparoscopic procedure was a success for Pat, with a quick recovery time and minimal pain. She happily reports that she’s now off all of her GERD medications, and she is back to eating whatever looks good.
“I can enjoy cheese conies – with chili!” she says
Learn more about the TIF Procedure at St. Elizabeth Healthcare
St. Elizabeth is one of the only healthcare systems in the region to offer the TIF procedure to GERD patients. If you’re struggling with GERD or acid reflux, the St. Elizabeth Gastroenterology team is here to help. Take our GERD quiz and call (859) 331-6466 to schedule an appointment with the St. Elizabeth Gastroenterology team.