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Nathan suffered with acid reflux for years then Dr. Medhat Fanous and team stepped in to save his quality of life.

Aspirus Iron River photos

Imagine being unable to eat the foods you love or even swallow food at all. So was the case for Nathan Rowe, of Hancock, who suffered with health complications from an increasingly painful and severe case of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). 

After several procedures to stretch his esophagus, Nathan was referred to Medhat Fanous, MD, a general surgeon at Aspirus Iron River Hospital, for a hiatal hernia repair. 

“I was told he was the ‘guru’ for the procedure I needed,” Nathan said. 

A revolutionary way to healing.
Dr. Fanous determined Nathan was a good candidate for two procedures performed at Aspirus Iron River Hospital: hiatal hernia repair and TIF (transoral incisionless fundoplication). The TIF procedure is a minimally invasive surgery that corrects the root cause of GERD and helps to prevent future problems with acid reflux. Patients experience less discomfort, faster recovery and fewer adverse effects.

During the procedure, the antireflux valve at the entrance from the esophagus into the stomach is reconstructed. This valve opens and closes as food is swallowed and is a barrier to reflux. By preventing reflux, TIF eliminates the acidic symptoms of reflux such as heartburn and sore throat, as well as the non-acid symptoms such as asthma, chronic cough and regurgitation.

‘I understood exactly what he was going to do.’
Since this was Nathan’s very first surgery, he was nervous. But it didn’t take long for him and his wife, Laura, to feel at ease.

“There really are no words to explain how compassionate, skillful and professional Dr. Fanous is,” Nathan said. “Before the surgery, he made sure I understood exactly what he was going to do. He did it in a way that my wife and I could understand, so I felt comfortable going into it.” 

With him every step of his healing journey.
Dr. Fanous checked on Nathan and Laura several times a day during Nathan’s hospital stay and constantly updated them on Nathan’s condition and progress. And Nathan’s care team was never more than a phone call away when Laura made the two-hour drive home to check on their kids.

“The employees at Aspirus Iron River Hospital are top notch. I have nothing but good things to say about their efforts, knowledge and, most of all, how they work as a team,” Nathan said. “I was impressed with how they dealt with such a critical situation with confidence. The way they filled each other in on my condition before shift change, and how they helped each other out when needed was definitely noticeable.”

Nathan notes that staff who weren’t even scheduled volunteered to come in and help during his emergency surgery. 

He even had an up-close look at ‘beautiful Ice Lake.’
“When my condition was stable, Dr. Fanous and his staff, as a team, took me out to the patio which looks over beautiful Ice Lake. This, I feel, also helped greatly with my healing process,” Nathan said. “The nurses constantly asked my wife if she needed anything, making her feel at ease. 

I feel Dr. Fanous and his team of nurses went above and beyond what a typical hospital would do. We have 100 percent faith in their capabilities.”

Today, Nathan is back to eating foods he hasn’t been able to eat in years and he has no GERD symptoms. 

“Anytime I hear of someone dealing with acid reflux, I recommend Dr. Fanous and his staff at Aspirus Iron River Hospital,” he said. “They care about the patient first.”

For more information on the acid reflux management program at Aspirus Iron River Hospital and several minimally invasive options for acid reflux, call (906) 265-0499.


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