Patients who suffer from GERD may be able to benefit from a relatively new procedure that promises to permanently alleviate the symptoms of chronic heartburn. For patients who opt for this method, the surgery also promises to eliminate reliance on proton pump inhibitors, a class of drugs that have recently been linked to kidney failure and other serious side effects.
Roughly a third of adults suffer from GERD, and millions now rely on proton pump inhibitors to obtain relief from their symptoms. In fact, many GERD sufferers continue using Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors for years, even though they are only intended for short-term use. Unfortunately, recent studies have linked extended use of the drugs to a wide range of dangerous complications, including kidney problems, dementia, heart attacks and bone fractures.
“I read about all those things that can happen to you if you are on it long term,” Jennie Youtz, a 59-year-old former Nexium user, recently told the Allentown Morning Call. “I was like, I don’t want to do this.”
In September, Ms. Youtz became the first patient at Pennsylvania’s Easton Hospital to undergo transoral incisionless fundoplication, or TIF, to treat GERD.
Approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2006, TIF enables a surgeon to reconstruct the anti-reflux barrier between the stomach and esophagus. Because it is performed via the mouth rather than through an abdominal incision, the procedure is typically completed under general anesthesia in less than an hour. In most cases, TIF patients are able to go home the same day. Around 10% will experience minor complications, such as temporary bleeding, bruising or bloating.
While she was restricted to a liquid diet the first few days after surgery, Ms. Youtz told the Morning Call that she is no longer plagued by heartburn symptoms.
“I was having problems swallowing pills. That’s getting better,” she reported just three weeks after her TIF procedure. “I’m feeling great.”
According to RXInjuryhelp.com, a growing number of Nexium lawsuits and other proton pump inhibitor claims have been filed in U.S. courts on behalf of individuals who suffered kidney failure and other renal complications allegedly related to the use of the these medications. The litigation involving proton pump inhibitors began to gain momentum earlier this year, following the publication of studies linking long-term use of the drugs to acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and renal failure.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP represents individuals who may have been harmed by Nexium, Prilosec or PevAcid. To learn more, please contact our office by calling (888) 994-8177.