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New Procedure Extinguishes Heartburn

Whether it's after a spicy meal or during the middle of the night, heartburn is a pain that affects about 15% of adults on a regular basis. Which is why one local doctor felt the need to bring an innovative procedure to Abilene to treat acid reflux problems. KRBC's Nora Hartfeil looked into the surgery for this week's edition of Nora's Heart Files.
Leonard Davis is all about routines, at home and at the office; but for most of his adult life he's had to pause his busy schedule to deal with a burning health condition that many can relate to.

"I was taking Nexium in the morning and Nexium at night--about 40 milligrams. It would just all come back up in my throat. I would wake up and sit straight up in bed. It was all very painful", says Davis.

What started out as an annoying sensation after each meal quickly escalated to a gastric issue that began to affect his daily life.

"Before, I wasn't getting any sleep. I'd be up at 2 o'clock and have to sleep in my chair", explains Davis.

That's when Davis had enough, and hightailed it to the doctor.

"When Mr. Davis came to me initially, he was on several medications for reflux and was continuing to have symptoms that were worst at night so he wasn't able to sleep through the night", says Dr. Cole, Abilene Regional Medical Center.

Uninterested in the formerly intrusive surgeries, Davis found out he was the perfect candidate for a new procedure to eliminate his heartburn troubles.

"The non-incision procedure, called TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication), recreates the body's natural anti-reflux valve to help your body go back to the way it was created to prevent acid from refluxing or moving back up into the esophagus area", Dr. Cole tells us.

And now, Davis says he can't imagine continuing life like he was.

"Now I'm sleeping all night long, and getting a good night's rest, and that's been the most changing of the whole thing", says Davis.

As Davis goes about his work day, he can slurp what he wants without the worry of his acid reflux penciling time into his busy day.
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