Weatherford Democrat

July 6, 2011

WRMC offers new advancement to treat chronic heartburn


Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD — WEATHERFORD — Dr. Leah Dill, board certified general surgeon and member of the medical staff at Weatherford Regional Medical Center is now performing the new Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication procedure, or TIF, completely without incisions to treat heartburn and other symptoms of reflux.

“We are very excited to offer this procedure at Weatherford Regional Medical Center,” Dill said. “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 is incisionless.”

Dill is the first specialist in Parker County to be trained on the TIF procedure.

“The TIF procedure may significantly improve quality of life for our patients,” Donna Boone, chief nursing officer of Weatherford Regional, said. “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is an anatomical problem which needs an anatomical solution. Reflux medication like PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) can help relieve patients’ heartburn symptoms but don’t solve the underlying anatomical problems or prevent further disease progression.

“Even on PPIs many patients are still unable to eat the foods they want or have to sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux. In addition recent studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs can lead to inadequate absorption of minerals such as calcium and can result in bone fractures. After the TIF procedure, clinical trials show that most patients can eat and drink foods they avoided for many years.”

Dill will offer a free educational seminar at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at Lone Star Medical Plaza, located at 5700 E. Interstate 20, Service Road South in Willow Park. For more information and to register for the seminar call 817-341-7246.