Rutherford County Resident Receives Innovative Procedure for Debilitating GERD Symptoms

Jul 13, 2023 at 01:20 pm by WGNS News

Dr. Willie Melvin at The Surgical Clinic in Smyrna


SMYRNA, Tenn. – For Rutherford County resident, Bill Thaw, it was love at first sight. The Miami, FL, native traveled to Rutherford County for vacation, then promptly packed his bags and moved there full time three weeks later. But what was one of the top selling points for this Director of Food and Nutrition Services? The local cuisine.


But the 61-year-old almost lost the ability to prepare and enjoy the southern foods he loved because of GERD (or acid reflux symptoms) – and the consistent headaches, stomachaches and near constant sleep interruptions almost kept him out of the kitchen. GERD is short for Gastroesophageal reflux disease. It occurs when stomach acid consistently flows back into the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. The backwash effect, known as acid reflux, can irritate the lining of the esophagus. It can be not only uncomfortable and irritating, but also painful. However, it is quite common to have such problems.

Enter Dr. Willie Melvin, Board Certified General and Robotic Surgeon at The Surgical Clinic in Smyrna, who performed the minimally invasive, incisionless TIF® 2.0 procedure and helped Bill regain his love for preparing and enjoying meals with his two sons and three granddaughters.

Dr. Melvin is one of the few physicians performing the TIF procedure in the Tennessee area. With the addition of places, like The Surgical Clinic, offering the procedure, more Tennesseans with GERD now have hope to achieve the same relief as Bill did.

The local doctor was on the air with WGNS and talked about acid reflux problems. Hear the podcast HERE

The Cleveland Clinic reports that GERD, which is chronic acid reflux, is extremely common. In fact, 20% of the U.S. population suffers from chronic acid reflux. While anyone can develop GERD, your chances of having it increase after the age of 40 and you're more likely to have it if you are overweight, pregnant, and/or routinely smoke.

Common signs and symptoms of GERD include (From the Mayo Clinic):

  • A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night or while lying down

  • Backwash (regurgitation) of food or sour liquid

  • Upper abdominal or chest pain

  • Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)

  • Sensation of a lump in your throat


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