TIF Procedure for Acid Reflux

What is Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF)?

Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) is an advanced endoscopy procedure that can stop acid reflux. Using a tube-like camera (endoscope) Dr. Howard can see inside the body at the esophagus and top of the stomach by placing the endoscope down your mouth while you are under general anesthesia. The goal of this procedure is to reconstruct the antireflux valve between the stomach and the esophagus. For most patients, this will restore the body's natural protection against acid refluxing into the esophagus.

TIF is sometimes used as an alternative to the commonly used laparoscopic acid reflux surgery called Nissen fundoplication and can be a good solution for those whose GERD is milder.

Benefits of the TIF Procedure

Patients who have the TIF surgery report an improved quality of life and relief of most acid reflux symptoms. Many patients no longer rely on acid reflux medication after the surgery.

In addition to relief from chronic acid reflux, there are benefits to the procedure itself. These include: 

  • No scarring or incisions
  • No cutting or dissecting
  • Minimal complications
  • No limitations of future treatment options
  • Rapid recovery

The TIF Procedure

As its name suggests, transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) treats GERD causes without requiring incisions. This video helps explain the procedure further.

[insert video currently on Dr. Howard’s site for TIF]

How the TIF Procedure is Performed

The goal of TIF is to restore the integrity of the gastroesophageal valve. First, the TIF procedure lengthens the esophagus. Then the top of the stomach is gently folded and partially wrapped (about 270 to 300 degrees) around the lower esophagus. The new valve is then secured in place with special fasteners. No cutting needed. This is different from the Nissen surgery that wraps 360 degrees around to form the new valve.

The procedure is performed by placing the endoscope down the mouth and into the stomach. You will be under general anesthesia and asleep during the procedure, which usually takes less than an hour. 

What TIF Patients Should Expect

Because every patient is unique, you can expect Dr. Howard to give you specific instructions about post-procedure care based on your situation. Typically, patients can go home the following day. And in most cases, patients can resume work and most normal activities within a few days. It is important that you not lift heavy items or do any strenuous physical exercise until your physician sees you for a post-follow-up exam. Discomfort in the stomach, chest, nose, and throat is common for 3-7 days after the procedure.

Patients must comply with the recommended diet to allow for proper repair and healing. Retching, vomiting, or excessive physical activity within approximately 1 month following surgery may reverse the effects of the surgery.

There is a special 1-month post-operative diet, which involves gradually moving from liquids to solids while your restored valve heals. This can take four to six weeks, depending on each individual.

In general, the TIF procedure is gentler on the body than laparoscopic procedures. Because of this, you'll likely have less discomfort. However, you may experience some minor soreness in your throat, chest, and shoulder area, which will go away within a few days.  Additionally, the TIF procedure does not have the long term side effects of gas bloat sometimes seen with the Nissen fundoplication.

For an in-depth discussion regarding Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication and other acid reflux surgeries, schedule a consultation with Dr. Howard.

Learn more about surgical procedures available to treat chronic acid reflux.