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TIF Procedure
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication Procedure

TIF Procedure for GERD

TIF, which is short for Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure that is used in the treatment of symptoms associated with chronic GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). The procedure, which is done on an outpatient basis, is carried out through the mouth into the patient’s stomach without the use of surgical incisions.

The TIF procedure has more benefits compared to similar traditional procedures that deliver the same patient outcome. The procedure is considered better because:

  • It is minimally invasive
  • It does not use incisions
  • Has fewer side effects
  • Does not limit future treatment options

How the Procedure Works – Fundoplication

Fundoplication procedures, whose main goal is to prevent stomach reflux, have been used to effectively treat patients with GERD for more than 50 years. During the TIF procedure, which is performed under general anesthesia, an EsophyX device, which is attached to a flexible endoscope, is gently passed through the mouth into the stomach.

The procedure is done by repairing the valve which is found at the base of the esophagus in order to construct a tighter opening, which can stop stomach reflux. This is achieved through wrapping the fundus (upper part of the stomach) around the malfunctioning lower part of the esophagus, then safeguarding it with fasteners made from polypropylene (process known as fundoplication). The fasteners are never removed and are left in place while healing takes place.

Frequently Asked Questions About the TIF Procedure

1. Who is a good candidate for TIF?

An ideal candidate for TIF procedure is an adult with moderate to severe symptoms of chronic GERD and is already on medication for the condition. Additionally, anyone who is using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to control these symptoms is considered a good candidate.

2. What are the benefits of TIF procedure?

TIF is an FDA approved procedure for treating symptoms of GERD. The procedure is also covered by most insurance medical covers. Other than allowing one to control the symptoms and get off medication, the procedure is also minimally invasive without any incisions, and the post-procedure side effects are minimal.

3. How should one prepare for the procedure?

Before the procedure, the patient will receive clear instructions from his/her doctor. These include going nil-by-mouth for several hours beforehand since the procedure involves the stomach and the esophagus. Additionally, you will be instructed on the medications you should stop taking, like blood thinners and certain herbal supplements. You should also make arrangements for someone to drive you back home because the procedure involves mild sedation, which means you are not permitted to drive or operate heavy machinery (vehicles) afterwards.

4. How long does the TIF procedure take?

The TIF procedure takes about 30 minutes, but the actual duration is dependent of the patient’s overall health.

5. What should I expect after the TIF procedure?

Since the procedure is minimally invasive, you can expect to go home on the same day of the procedure, or the following day. However, this varies from one case to the next. Most daily activities can be resumed after a few days – your doctor will advise you. After the procedure, you may experience some temporary minimal discomforts which include hoarseness, sore throat, difficulty in swallowing and even nausea. A dietary modification will be recommended, which should be followed for several weeks after the procedure. This may include but not limited to eating different textured foods, whereby you graduate to the next texture in phases. This starts with clear liquids, full liquid foods, to soft textured foods and eventually to normal textured foods. This is to allow the reconstructed valve to heal seamlessly.

6. What are the possible complications of TIF procedure?

The procedure is considered fairly safe with no major complications reported. However, after the procedure, you may experience chest pain, possibility of bleeding, shoulder pain and sore throat.

7. Are the TIF procedure results permanent?

The procedure is considered long-lasting in keeping the symptoms of chronic GERD at bay, but only if the patient strictly follows the doctor’s instructions and diet recommendations after the procedure.

 

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