Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery
Aliu O. Sanni, MD, FACS
Bariatric & General Surgery & GERD/Reflux Specialist located in Snellville, GA
Acid reflux affects about 20% of all adults. Many rely on over-the-counter medications that don’t treat the underlying cause, which increases their risk for serious complications from ongoing reflux. Aliu Sanni, MD, FACS, and the team at Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery have years of experience performing the TIF minimally invasive procedure to treat acid reflux and produce long-term relief. If you’d like more information about the treatment for acid reflux, call their office in Snellville, Georgia, or schedule an appointment online for a consultation.
Acid Reflux Q&A
What causes acid reflux?
Acid reflux develops when stomach contents flow up into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter is a muscle that opens to let food into the stomach and closes to keep digestive acids and food inside the stomach. The backward movement of stomach contents occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter is weak or relaxes when it shouldn’t.
Acid reflux causes symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- A sensation of a lump in your throat
Acid reflux can progress to become gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When you have GERD, stomach acid irritates the lining of your esophagus, causing inflammation and leading to complications such as an esophageal ulcer, esophageal narrowing, respiratory problems, and precancerous changes.
A functional valve (left)
Dysfunctional valve (right)"
How is acid reflux treated?
First-line treatment for acid reflux consists of medications:
Over-the-counter antacids neutralize stomach acid, which provides quick relief for acid reflux symptoms. However, antacids can’t heal the esophagus or stop acid reflux.
Medications in this group reduce the amount of acid produced by your stomach for up to 12 hours. They’re available over the counter and in prescription strength.
Proton pump inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) also block acid production but they’re stronger than H2 blockers, which gives the esophagus more time to heal. PPIs are available over the counter and with a prescription. Long-term use may increase your risk for bone fractures and micronutrient deficiencies, so consult Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery before taking PPIs longer than is recommended on the label.
When do you need surgery to treat acid reflux?
Surgery is a solution for acid reflux if your symptoms continue in spite of medication, they occur often, or you can’t tolerate long-term use of medications. If the team at Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery thinks you are a candidate for surgery, they will perform a minimally-invasive procedure known as the TIF procedure.
TIF, which stands for transoral incisionless fundoplication, is a minimally invasive procedure that bariatric patients receive to treat and stop chronic heartburn and acid reflux disease. No internal incisions or dissections occur during this procedure. The goal of this procedure is to restore the anti-reflux barrier between the esophagus and the stomach.
What happens during a TIF procedure?
Patients undergo general anesthesia and a small camera is inserted through the patient’s mouth. Through this tool, physicians create a new anti-reflux valve at the base of the esophagus to prevent liquids, gas, and food from re-entering the esophagus after digestion.
Patients often are discharged the next day after a TIF procedure. Due to the minimal invasiveness of the procedure, patients often have quick recovering rates and time. In a few days following the procedure, most patients are able to return to work and their other daily activities.
To learn more about the acid reflux treatment options at Eastside Bariatric & General Surgery, call the office or book an appointment online today.