Special to Iredell Free News

What may have seemed like science fiction — surgery without an incision — is now a reality that is giving back patients suffering from chronic acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) a normal life.

Dr. Brandon Marion

Dr. Brandon Marion, a physician at Piedmont HealthCare Northlake Digestive Care, is now offering the TIF procedure for the treatment of GERD at Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville.

In a healthy patient, there is a natural valve between the esophagus and the stomach that forms a physical barrier preventing stomach fluids from backwashing, or “refluxing,” up into the esophagus. In a patient with chronic GERD, this valve has become dysfunctional.

Many patients take reflux medications such as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors), which suppress acid production, to help relieve their heartburn symptoms. Even with PPIs, they are still unable to eat the foods they want or need to sleep sitting up to reduce nighttime reflux. In addition, recent studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs is linked to inadequate absorption of minerals, chronic kidney disease and dementia.

GERD sufferers just want to get back to living normal lives.

TIF is an acronym for transoral incisionless fundoplication. The advantage is of this procedure is that it is “surgery from within” performed through the mouth. Based on the same well proven principles of conventional, more invasive laparoscopic GERD surgery, the TIF procedure reconstructs the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to prevent reflux. Because the procedure is incisionless, there is reduced pain, no visible scar and most patients can get back to their normal activities within a few days.

“The TIF procedure with the EsophyX device can significantly improve quality of life for our patients,” said Dr. Marion. “Clinical studies show that at three years after the TIF procedure 70 percent were able to completely stop PPI therapy, reflux esophagitis healed in 87 percent of patients and 91 percent of patients reported elimination of troublesome regurgitation. Reflux no longer impacts their life like it previously did.”

With millions of Americans diagnosed with GERD and not fully satisfied with their treatment options, the TIF procedure with the EsophyX device offers an excellent alternative.

“We are very excited to be able to offer our patients the same benefits as more invasive surgery with minimal risk,” said Dr. Marion.


If you are interested in this procedure or would like to learn more, please call Dr. Marion and his team at Northlake Digestive Care at 704-873-4277.

About Piedmont HealthCare

Piedmont HealthCare is one of the largest physician-owned multi-specialty groups in North Carolina and the Southeast. We are committed to providing excellent care for the whole family. We have more than 60 convenient locations and nearly 200 physicians and providers across multiple specialties to provide the most innovative medical care for our community.

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