South Florida Hospital News
Monday May 22, 2017

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May 2017 - Volume 13 - Issue 11




Delray Medical Center Performs First Incisionless Surgery to Treat Heartburn

 Surgery without an incision is now a possibility.  The new Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication procedure, or TIF, using the innovative EsophyX® device for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is now available at Delray Medical Center.

“The TIF procedure can significantly improve quality of life for our patients.” said Dr. Andrew Zwick, gastroenterologist at Delray Medical Center. “GERD is an anatomical problem which needs an anatomical solution. Reflux medication like PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) can help relieve patients' heartburn symptoms but don't solve the underlying anatomical problems or prevent further disease progression.  Even on PPIs many patients are still unable to eat the foods they want or have to sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux.  In addition recent studies have shown that long term use of PPIs can lead to inadequate absorption of minerals such as calcium and can result in bone fractures.  After the TIF procedure, clinical trials show that most patients can eat and drink foods they avoided for many years.  Reflux no longer impacts their life like it previously did.”
The TIF procedure is based on established principles of surgical repair of the antireflux barrier, except that it is “surgery from within” performed transorally (through the mouth).  The procedure can reduce hiatal hernia and can re-establishe the high pressure zone between the stomach and esophagus restoring the natural, physiological anatomy to prevent gastroesophageal reflux.  Because the procedure is incisionless, there is reduced pain, reduced recovery and no visible scar. 
The TIF procedure represents the next step in the evolution of surgery.  Laparoscopy reduced the skin incisions typical of open surgery to a minimally invasive three-to-five port holes.  However, laparoscopy still involves the same internal incisions and organ dissection as open surgery.  TIF requires neither internal incisions nor dissection, lowering the hurdle for receiving an anatomical restoration of the antireflux barrier and allowing earlier surgical intervention.
With millions of Americans diagnosed with GERD and not fully satisfied with their treatment options, TIF offers an excellent alternative.
“We are very excited to be able to offer our patients the same incredible benefits as more invasive procedures without incisions,” said Mark Bryan, chief executive officer at Delray Medical Center. 

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