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When Is Surgical Intervention Appropriate?

When GERD has progressed to a level where pharmaceutical therapies are no longer satisfactory, surgical intervention may be warranted to correct the underlying anatomical cause of GERD, the defective antireflux valve. Over the last 50 years, antireflux surgery has become less invasive, evolving from an open procedure to a laparoscopic procedure and then to an incisionless procedure.

Laparoscopic reconstruction of the antireflux valve has been shown to be effective in 75 to 90 percent of patients in alleviating heartburn and 50 to 75 percent in alleviating cough, asthma, and laryngitis. Studies and years of clinical use prove that an anatomical correction is key to long-term resolution of GERD and disease progression.

However, even laparoscopic surgical repair can be invasive, requiring from three to four small abdominal incisions, and typically has a high incidence of side effects like gas bloat and difficulty swallowing.

The incisionless procedure called TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication), made possible by the innovative EsophyX device, is performed through the patient's mouth, or "transorally." TIF delivers similar benefits as the time-proven laparoscopic antireflux procedure. The key differences are that TIF reconstructs the antireflux valve through the mouth, does not require incisions, and does not dissect any part of the natural internal anatomy. Recovery and discomfort are reduced and most patients are able to return to work and normal activities within a couple of days following the procedure.

For more information on the TIF procedure, view this site: www.GERDHelp.com.

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