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New Treatment for Acid Reflux – First Patient Shares Her Story

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For 15 years, Suellen Staub took a pill daily to avoid the problems of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially painful heartburn. While vacationing in Panama City recently, she discovered that Bay Medical offers a surgical procedure that corrects the underlying problem that causes GERD, not just masks it like her daily medication does.

Suellen was the first patient in the area to undergo the transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF), available exclusively in the Panama City area at Bay Medical. A month later and two weeks after ending her daily pill regimen, she can already tell a difference.

β€œIt was great,” she says. β€œWe still were on vacation there and I returned to my walking routine almost immediately. I didn’t have an incision to get over.”

A resident of Wichita, Kan., Suellen is a retired surgical nurse and has seen countless endoscopies, colonoscopies and other gastrointestinal procedures. She had suffered painful heartburn during pregnancy years ago, but it went away until about 15 years ago. While on vacation visiting her son stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Suellen attended a health expo, in which general surgeon Glenn Summers, M.D., presented information on TIF. Suellen followed that up with an appointment and a lot of research.

β€œI convinced Dr. Summers that I was a good candidate because I wasn’t interested in taking Prilosec for the rest of my life,” Suellen says. β€œMy research showed me that Dr. Summers was a good surgeon, an experienced one.”

She never considered having the procedure done at her home 1,000 miles away – or anywhere else.

β€œI was blown away by the healthcare we received in Panama City,” Suellen says. β€œI was really impressed with the care at Bay Medical.”

After returning home, she consulted with Dr. Summers via telephone several times, but otherwise had no need to see the doctor.

Because there is no incision, there is reduced pain, shorter recovery time and no visible scar. Studies also show that at least 79 percent of patients who underwent a TIF remained off their daily medications after two years, according to Dr. Summers.

β€œWe are very excited to be able to offer our patients a dramatic improvement in their quality of life,” he says.

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