Heartburn/GERD: A Main Sleep Apnea Health Risk
Heartburn, GERD, and the TIF Procedure:
Heartburn is a painful burning one feels in the chest or throat and is one of the health risks associated with sleep apnea. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
If you have heartburn more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But you can have GERD without having heartburn.
While many patients are dissatisfied with medical therapy, some are wary of traditional open and laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery due to the incisions required, risks associated, and undesirable side effects such as dysphagia (trouble swallowing), bloating and increased flatulence.
New incision-less techniques such as transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) fills the treatment gap between medical therapy and more invasive surgical fundoplication. Because TIF is performed entirely through the patient’s mouth (transorally), there are no abdominal incisions and subsequently, no scars from the proceddure.