The following is a press release from Women and Children's Hospital:
Women & Children's Hospital (WCH) is collaborating with Keith Chung, MD, a board certified general surgeon and independent member of the WCH medical staff, to offer patients a non-invasive treatment for GERD better known as chronic heartburn.
Dr. Chung is the only physician in the Lake Charles area and one of only a few in the State of Louisiana to use the Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) procedure using a natural orifice surgical device to innovatively treat gastroesophageal reflux disease through the mouth without an incision.
The American Gastroenterological Association reports that more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn/GERD symptoms at least once each month. GERD is a chronic reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. It can cause complications including esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, hoarseness, chronic pulmonary disease and Barrett's esophagus, a change in the lining of the esophagus that increases the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus.
"We are very excited to offer this procedure at Women and Children's Hospital," said Dr. Chung. "In a healthy patient, there's a natural valve between the esophagus and the stomach that forms a physical barrier to prevent stomach fluids from back washing, or 'refluxing' up into the esophagus. In patients with chronic GERD, this valve has become dysfunctional. The TIF procedure reconstructs the valve to prevent reflux. It's based on the same principles of conventional, more invasive laparoscopic GERD surgery, but TIF's advantage is that it is incisionless," says Dr. Chung.
The procedure does not require an incision because it reaches the stomach via the esophagus through the mouth. This greatly improves the quality of life for patients by eliminating the need for incisions, shortening recovery times, reducing the dependence on GERD medication and allowing patients to consume the foods and beverages they previously avoided.