Linx for Reflux Disease
Saint Francis Medical Center is the first hospital in the region to offer the LINX Reflux Management System, a new service for patients who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease. In this procedure, a flexible bracelet of magnetic titanium beads is implanted around the esophagus laparoscopically.
Gastroesophagel reflux disease, or GERD, is a chronic disease that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter muscle does not close properly, is weak, or relaxes when it shouldn’t, allowing stomach contents back up into the esophagus.
“The Linx procedure is a great alternative to traditional anti-reflux operations, and may avoid some of the side effects,” says Carson Cunningham, MD, general surgeon at Saint Francis Medical Center. “It is also reversible, and patients are able to eat a normal diet immediately afterward.”
Not all patients are candidates for the LINX Reflux Management System. Ideal candidates are patients who have had an incomplete response to proton pump inhibitors in treating GERD and those who respond well to medications, but do not want to continue taking medications indefinitely.
- The LINX device is a small, flexible ring of magnetic beads that is placed around the esophagus at the lower esophageal sphincter to mimic the natural barrier to reflux and eliminate GERD.
- Magnetic attraction of the device is designed to close the LES immediately after swallowing
- The LINX System is designed to expand to allow for normal swallowing
- Outpatient, minimally invasive procedure – typically takes 40 minutes to complete
Expected Outcomes / Benefits:
- Unlike the traditional fundoplication, a surgical technique that strengthens the barrier to acid reflux when the sphincter does not function normally, LINX does not alter the gastric anatomy.
- Patients are encouraged to resume a normal diet immediately following the surgery and most can return to work and resume their activities within a few days.
- May help to prevent serious associated conditions such as adult-onset asthma, chronic cough and esophageal inflammation and scar formation