GERD awareness, new solution with no incisions

Paul Severson, MD, FACS

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a very common disorder. One in every five Americans suffers from GERD. The annual GERD Awareness Week is November 22-28,2020.

Reflux and heartburn symptoms are often triggered by consuming certain foods (chocolate, wine, fried or spicy foods etc.), beverages (coffee, wine, beer, sodas), or doing simple activities (exercise, sleeping), and living under any level of stress.

GERD is a chronic condition caused by changes in the gastroesophageal valve that allow contents to flow from the stomach back into the esophagus. Left untreated, GERD can be a lifelong disease with a potential for causing esophageal cancer.  It can lead to bothersome symptoms, which can vary from mild or moderate to severe depending on the person.

“Each year around the week of Thanksgiving, we encourage people experiencing chronic reflux, heartburn and other symptoms, which may be GERD-related, to consult their physicians and to contact us to receive information and support regarding the condition,” said Dr. Paul Severson, reflux specialist at the Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin. “We now offer a GERD surgical solution with no incisions.”

The Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin now offers the TIF (transoral incisionless fundoplication) procedure—a safe, effective and incisionless intervention to treat chronic heartburn and reflux. The TIF procedure is performed from inside the patient’s stomach without incisions.  This approach uses a device to reconstruct the reflux valve to restore the body’s natural protection against refluxing stomach contents.

“TIF outcomes are long-lasting, and recovery is fast – typically getting patients back to normal activities in just a few days,” Severson added. “This procedure delivers patient outcomes similar to those provided by conventional procedures, but is less invasive, has fewer adverse effects, and does not limit future treatment options. We look forward to treating patients with this new treatment option that our team of reflux specialists began offering this year.”

Learn more about this new GERD solution from Dr. Paul Severson, who will be presenting a TIF Talk on Facebook live on Thurs., Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m.  To view the presentation with an opportunity to ask questions, go to Riverwood’s Facebook page.

The MRHC team of five reflux specialists includes Dr. Tim LeMieur, Dr. Andrew Loveitt, Dr, Howard McCollister, Dr. Shawn Roberts and Dr. Paul Severson. To schedule an evaluation of chronic reflux symptoms at Riverwood, call Dawn Harcey, RN and GI Clinical Coordinator at 218-429-3930.

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