Q: Are there any surgical options to help long-term heartburn or GERD sufferers?
A: Yes. Most conventional treatments for heartburn are temporary because they treat the symptoms and not the root cause of the problem. Chronic heartburn is likely caused by GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. This condition triggers an excessive amount of gastric juices backwashing into the esophagus, which can cause discomfort.
“Patients with severe GERD are finding relief from a surgical procedure called Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF),” said General Surgeon Adam Conn, M.D. “During the TIF procedure, we insert a flexible tube through the patient’s mouth, and we reconstruct a tight valve that prevents the reflux of stomach content into the esophagus,” explained Dr. Conn. “It is done under general anesthesia and takes less than an hour to complete.” Dr. Conn added that most people go home the next day and return to work within a few days.
Dr. Conn is a member of the medical staff at Porter Regional Hospital. He is board certified in surgery and, he and Dr. Jac Cooper perform the TIF procedures. To schedule an appointment with Associates in Surgery, call 219-983-6240.