Risks of the TIF procedure
While the TIF procedure is less invasive than conventional laparoscopic fundoplication and has an excellent safety profile, it is important to note that TIF is still a surgical procedure. All surgical procedures have risks. Therefore, it is important to understand the associated risks. Before you decide on a procedure, speak to your surgeon in detail about the risks and complications that may arise.
Expected risks or discomforts anticipated as a result of an endoscopic procedure include: sore throat, musculoskeletal pain ( left shoulder pain), temporary epigastric or abdominal pain which can be treated with standard pain medication, temporary difficulty swallowing due to swelling and nausea or vomiting. These events are usually mild in severity and resolve themselves shortly after surgery.
Infrequent risks or discomforts: oral or dental injury, bleeding which may require blood transfusions, bloating sensation, bruising. These occur infrequently and are usually mild in severity.
Rare risks of an endoscopic procedure: perforation of the esophagus or stomach, aspiration or hypoxia, nerve damage, abnormal heartbeat, pneumothorax (air around the lung), chest pain, fistula or infections in the chest or abdomen. These occur rarely and additional surgery may be needed if these occur.
Additional risks include: Need for reoperation after a failed procedure, fastening of tissue other than esophagus or stomach tissue.
It is important to remember that GERD is a chronic disease that requires a lifetime of management to control symptoms. In a study published in 2011, 9 patients who were intially treated transorally underwent a subsequent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication safely and effectively.