It’s always a great day when a medical device company receives an email with this subject line.
Out of the blue, Todd sent us this message and answered some additional questions we posed. We are thrilled that he reached out to us and we hope you enjoy his story as much as we did.
A little over 3 years ago , I had the TIF procedure performed. I was 39 years old and had suffered from reflux since childhood. I could not remember a time that I didn’t have some type of antacid at my bedside every night. After years of H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (40mg twice daily of omeprazole), I sought the help of a local surgeon after hearing a report about this new procedure. The procedure changed the quality of my life in a way words cannot describe. I am completely free of symptoms and have been off of all acid controllers for over 3 years now. I wish to convey my sincerest appreciation for the technology you have brought to me and patients like me.
When did you first start feeling acid reflux symptoms?
I began having symptoms in my early teen years.
How did you initially treat reflux?
Initially I managed symptoms with [over-the-counter] antacids (Mylanta/Tums)
How soon did you go to see a doctor?
I didn’t seek medical attention until my late 20’s.
Was your GERD hard to diagnose?
My symptoms made it easy to diagnose.
What tests were performed?
Initially, diagnosis was based solely on symptoms. A number of years later (as prescriptions lost their effect), I had scopes and reflux test done.
How did GERD affect your social life?
Impacted what I was able to eat and how late in the day I could eat.
How has GERD affected your work-life?
My work frequently involves dinner engagements. My condition made it difficult to eat later in the day, and also made it impossible to consume any alcohol.
Passion To Resolve
How did you learn about the TIF procedure?
I learned of the procedure through an interview that was aired on a local radio station with a local surgeon who was doing this ‘new’ procedure.
What attracted you to the TIF procedure?
No incisions required and apparent high efficacy rate.
Who encouraged you to choose the TIF procedure? Why?
Nobody really encouraged me–I had done some research on it after hearing the radio interview.
What was your favorite post-procedure food in the first 2 weeks, 4 weeks
What surprised you the most after the procedure?
The complete absence of gastric symptoms; I only had some minor discomfort (a referred pain to my shoulder).
Was it worth doing?
And now, 3 years later
Post-recovery period, how soon did you get back to your normal lifestyle?
Within 4 weeks.
What do you not miss about having GERD now that it’s GONE!
I do not miss the sleepless nights.
Would you recommend this procedure to other GERD suffers?
Absolutely….it’s the only way to correct the problem. Everything else simply masks the disease.
Estimate how much money and time you’ve saved not going to the drug store to purchase meds?
How do you feel about your risk of Barrett’s/esophageal cancer and risks associated with prescription medications?
My grandfather and father both have Barrett’s, so I was destined to also have Barrett’s. I feel my risk is now zero for Barrett’s or CA.
Do you see your physician less often?
I only see my physician now for routine physicals.
Returning to Life
Do you have any words of wisdom to others suffering from GERD?
There is no reason to continue suffering from this disease. A simple 1-hour procedure can change your life.
How has your life changed?
I can eat what I want and when I want. I no longer have to sleep on an incline–drastically improving my sleep.
What are you inspired to do now?
Tell others about the durable response I’ve had to the TIF procedure.
What activity and/or food do you most enjoy now that you couldn’t with GERD?
I enjoy wine occasionally and chocolate.
Just like Todd, the EGS team also enjoys good chocolate (boxes of See’s Candies make regular appearances in our break room thanks to Pat Crilly) and good wine on occasion (our offices are on the West Coast where great wine is cultivated).
Todd, your story has reminded the employees of EndoGastric Solutions and TIF-trained physicians why we are so passionate about treating GERD with the TIF procedure. We wish you excellent health!
To find a TIF-trained physician in your area enter your zip code into the search function on the right-side of this page.
Important Notice: While clinical studies support the effectiveness of TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) in treating chronic GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), individual results may vary. There are no guarantees of successful outcome. The TIF surgery may not be appropriate for every individual, and it may not be applicable to your condition. The individual opinions of previous TIF surgery patients presented on this page do not reflect the opinions of EndoGastric Solutions, Inc., and should not be considered as medical advice. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Only your doctor can determine whether the TIF surgery is appropriate for your situation.
Debbie Donovan is in the marketing department and is editor of this blog. She’s also managing the GERDHelp social media channels where we post hot stories on heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. Deb ice skates and likes routines with fancy footwork and spins.