HEALTH PERSPECTIVE: New procedure at MidState helping to treat acid reflux

By Amir Masoud, MD

It’s estimated that a quarter of adults in the U.S. suffer from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and heartburn. If you’re one of them you know it can cause a great deal of discomfort. The patients I see will often describe persistent heartburn, chest pain, or even difficulty swallowing, as some of the symptoms they experience.

GERD is mostly related to a weak or altered barrier between the stomach and esophagus. When this barrier is compromised, things in your stomach, including acid, bile, or even food, can come back up into the esophagus leading to symptoms.

Your diet can also play a role in causing reflux. Chocolate, coffee, dairy, fried food and alcohol can worsen symptom. Widely available over-the-counter medications that reduce acidity or even suppress reflux can help relieve symptoms. In some cases, these therapies are inadequate and, in very severe scenarios, reflux can lead to other more troublesome conditions such as lung disease. In these instances, surgical options are often considered.

MidState Medical Center is performing a non-invasive procedure known as a Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) that is performed during and endoscopy.

The device is passed through the esophagus and into the stomach. We then fold the top of the stomach against the lower most part of the esophagus. This is done to bolster the natural anti-reflux barrier and ultimately reduce GERD and its symptoms. The process essentially creates a robust anti-reflux barrier and makes it difficult for things from your stomach to get up into the esophagus. The procedure is great for patients because there are fewer side effects and it can be done in patients who can’t undergo other more conventional therapies.

This procedure is ideal for anyone who has severe reflux. However, it’s also important to note that patients who were previously not a candidate for other types of acid reflux surgeries may very well be eligible for the TIF procedure, which can help improve quality of life for anyone suffering from this chronic condition.

Dr. Amir Masoud is a gastroenterologist with the Hartford HealthCare Digestive Health Institute at MidState Medical Center. For more information, call 877.649.3301 or visit


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