GERD sufferers in Central Indiana have an alternative to taking a lifetime of meds to ease their debilitating heartburn, acid indigestion, and other symptoms. Since 2010, Jeff Heise, M.D., F.A.C.S., Board Certified General Surgeon and Medical Director of the Heartburn Center at Hancock Regional Hospital, has treated more than 350 patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) with a TIF® procedure.
TIF stands for Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication and has been used since 2007 to treat patients with symptoms of GERD. Dr. Heise’s experience places him in the top 10 percent of all physicians trained to perform TIF procedures and sixth most prolific globally.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, GERD affects approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population and is most common in those who are overweight or obese, smokers, and pregnant women.
“The TIF procedure has a faster recovery for GERD patients because it doesn’t involve incisions or have other side effects associated with traditional surgery,” said Dr. Heise. “Most of my patients are off their daily medicine and report an improved quality of life after the procedure.”
Trial Data Shows Relief
Hancock Regional Hospital was one of seven centers in the U.S. to participate in a randomized, controlled TEMPO trial of 63 patients that sought to compare the TIF procedure to proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) use in chronic GERD patients.
Trial data released in March 2016 after three years of follow up shows:
- Consistent relief from regurgitation symptoms for 91 percent of the patients initially studied
- Additionally, 70 percent of patients initially enrolled remain off daily PPIs and 87 percent continue to have healing of their esophagitis.
The study will continue to gather follow-up data at four and five years.
“As early adopters of the procedure, we thank Dr. Heise and Hancock Regional Hospital for contributing to the growing data set which continues to validate the clinical value and positive outcomes for GERD patients after receiving the TIF procedure,” said Jason Kangas, program development manager, EndoGastric Solutions, the study’s sponsor.
Dr. Heise and Hancock Health have been asked to participate in the American Gastroenterological Association’s STAR Registry, a trial of up to 500 patients followed up to five years, which seeks to compare conventional anti-reflux surgery (Nissen fundoplication) with the TIF procedure.
Specialty trained and certified to perform the TIF Procedure, Dr. Heise attended Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed advanced training in surgery at Michigan State University Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center.
Those suffering from symptoms that affect sleep and quality of life, such as heartburn, regurgitation, or chronic cough, are encouraged to take this free online assessment or contact the Heartburn and Swallowing Disorders Center at Hancock Regional Hospital at (317) 468-4684. Weight loss and smoking cessation programs are also available as a preventative measure.