WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Having heartburn or acid reflex can happen to anyone once in a while, but for some people, it gets so bad they need medical help.
40-year-old Lauren Darrah of Southbury loves her dogs and is even a dog walker. She’s thrilled to be feeling better now after a recent procedure for an issue she had for a long time.
“I always had an issue with a type of acid reflux and I just did over the counter like a Pepsid or Tums and it was ok,” she said.
But as Lauren got older it got worse, causing her to get sick every morning.
She finally sought out St. Mary’s Hospital Chief of Gastroenterology Dr. Russell Parvin who performed tests.
“They noticed there was irritation in the lining of my esophagus and they diagnosed me with GERD,” said Darrah.
Dr. Parvin explains that gastroesophageal reflex disease happens when stomach acids flow up out of the stomach. It can cause health problems because it’s acidic.
Dr. Parvin explains that damage to the lining of the esophagus leading to various types of inflammatory condition including ulcers, and precancerous conditions.
“There is a physiological function to gastric acid it helps digest food, and has other functions. What you really want to to is leave the stomach acid where it is and prevent it from coming up,” said Dr. Parvin.
He performed an endoscopic procedure on Lauren called a TIFF. That stands for transoral incisionless fundoplication. There are no incisions. A tube is placed down a patient’s throat down into the top of the stomach.
“Through that pathway we’re able to manipulate the anatomy of the top part of the stomach to sort of tighten that valve between the esophagus and the stomach,” said Dr. Parvin.
Lauren’s diet was limited to soft foods for weeks after the procedure. She stuck with it and is thrilled with her life-changing results.
“It’s just been awesome. [I’m]Feeling so much better. I haven’t gotten sick I don’t cough like I did I don’t feel the angina, I just feel so much better,” says Lauren.