Listen to Cindy on a 2016 radio interview
After three decades on PPIs, it was time to research options to better treat her reflux and minimize her concerns about osteoporosis.
Cindy’s story chronicles her journey of progressive GERD symptoms, results of a bone density test and how her husband and physicians encouraged her to choose the TIF procedure.
When did you first start feeling acid reflux symptoms?
When I was in my mid-twenties
How did you initially treat reflux?
With OTC antacids
How soon did you go to see a doctor?
A few years later
Was your GERD hard to diagnose?
My doctor suggested PPI drugs based on symptoms only
How long have you been on PPI’s?
I have taken PPIs for almost 30 years.
How many different PPI’s have you tried?
I have taken 2 different brand name drugs.
Any breakthrough symptoms?
If I ate acidic foods or drank citrus juices or alcohol, I still experienced severe burning in my throat and stomach.
Any unpleasant side-effects?
In recent years I have had bouts of digestive upset, diagnosed with thinning bones, and had more trouble sleeping.
What was the biggest complaint of your significant other?
That I couldn’t enjoy food and drink with him
How did GERD affect your social life?
I was hesitant to enjoy social drinking because of the symptoms I would experience afterwards
How has GERD affected your work-life?
My job was stressful already but there were periods of feeling like a had a volcano erupting in my throat which made it very embarrassing during client meetings.
How did GERD affect your lifestyle and quality of life?
I had to always be conscious of what I was eating and to be sure I had my PPI available each day.
What foods did you miss eating?
Spicy, acidic foods
How do you feel about your risk of Barrett’s/esophageal cancer and risks associated with prescription medications?
I was very concerned about both, I knew PPIs weren’t designed for long term use, but my bone density scan was a real wakeup call.
What was the final straw that made you decide you needed more than medication and “lifestyle modifications”?
After my endoscopy revealed the hiatal hernia and my GI told me about the TIF procedure.
Passion To Resolve
How did you investigate your options?
I researched the TIF procedure online, went to see the surgeon [the GI] recommended and discussed it with [my GI]
How did you find out about TIF procedure?
From my GI doctor
What attracted you to the TIF procedure?
Quick recovery and good results
How did you decide on the TIF procedure? What makes it the most attractive option at this time?
After meeting with the surgeon and having him explain older procedures and results compared to this [the TIF procedure]
Did anyone encourage you to choose the TIF procedure?
My surgeon and my husband
To get insurance coverage, many patient undergo a large battery of preoperative testing – EGD, pH, etc. what was that experience like for you?
After the EGD I think it was apparent to the insurance company that I had to have a surgical solution
What was your favorite post-procedure food in the first 2 weeks, 4 weeks?
Potato soup and soft cooked carrots
What guilty pleasure did you enjoy because you had to “take it easy” post procedure?
TV watching and lots of reading
What surprised you the most after the procedure?
How little pain I had after a week
Was it worth doing?
Post-recovery period, how soon did you get back to your normal lifestyle?
I went on vacation in 8 weeks post op
What do you not miss about having GERD now that it’s GONE!
Burning volcano on my throat
Why would you recommend this procedure to other GERD suffers?
It gave me a normal life back
Do you see your physician less often?
Returning to Life
Any words of wisdom to others suffering from GERD?
Don’t wait as long as I did to seek another solution
What activity and/or food do you most enjoy now, that you couldn’t with GERD?
I enjoy a glass of orange juice whenever I want
Cindy, we raise a glass of OJ to congratulate you on your successful TIF procedure outcome!
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.