Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)

UW Health surgeons perform an anti-reflux surgery called transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) in order to correct acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The surgery is performed through the mouth and down the esophagus, and a surgical device called the EsophyX is attached to the gastroesophageal junction, or the passage from the esophagus to the stomach. This device wraps around the base of the Esophagus, creating tight folds. These folds create a new, functioning valve that keeps digestive acid in the stomach and out of the esophagus, thereby eliminating GERD.

 

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

 

GERD is a digestive disorder in which the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), weakens or relaxes allowing stomach acid up into the esaphogus. When stomach acid seeps into the esophagus, it can cause a wide variety of symptoms:

  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Bitter taste in the mouth and back of the throat
  • Voice hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Feeling of food being stuck in the chest or throat
  • Excessive saliva
  • Nausea
  • Chronic cough
  • Asthma attacks

There is a greater risk for developing GERD in people who are overweight, eat large meals, wear tight-fitting clothes or smoke.

 

Surgical intervention of GERD requires a reinforcement or strengthening of the lower esophageal sphincter so that it can contain gastric juices in the stomach. Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) is one method for successfully strengthening this sphincter and effectively eliminating GERD. Other minimally invasive surgery options include Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication and LINX.

 

The Difference of Minimally Invasive

 

There are numerous benefits to having this procedure performed transorally, or through the mouth, rather than through traditional open surgery:

  • Faster recovery, patient can return home the same day as surgery and return work after only a few days
  • Less pain post-operatively
  • Fewer post-operative complications
  • Cosmetic appeal: No scarring since the procedure is incisionless