If you have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD, and you have heartburn or regurgitation in spite of taking medications that treat GERD, you might be a candidate for the LINX® Reflux Management System.
Surgical Solutions for Reflux
RiverView Health is one of a handful of locations across Minnesota to offer an innovative device designed to treat GERD using the LINX® reflux management system. The LINX® system is a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores designed to restore the body’s natural barrier to reflux in patients with GERD.
LINX® is intended for patients who are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy. Are you concerned with a lifetime of medication, pharmacy visits, and potential side effects? If this sounds like you, it may be time for LINX®.
Testing, Surgery and Follow-Up all Close to Home
RiverView Health provides a full-service reflux solution. The first step is to conduct a preliminary test for patients using the Bravo™ reflux testing to evaluate the frequency and duration of their acid reflux. Next Esophageal manometry testing is done to measure the function of the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that prevents reflux, or backward flow, of gastric acid into the esophagus) and the muscles of the esophagus. Using these results, we are able to determine if a patient is a good candidate for LINX® reflux surgery. If so, surgery can be done in one of our operating rooms as a same-day surgery procedure.
What is LINX®, and how does it work?
LINX® is a medical device implanted with a minimally invasive surgical procedure using small incisions. LINX® uses a small, flexible band of beads designed to help keep the sphincter closed and stop reflux. Reflux occurs when the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus is weak, allowing acid, bile, and other digestive juices to back up or ‘reflux’ into the esophagus.
The beads in the band each have a magnet inside. When looped around the exterior of the esophagus, the magnetic attraction between the beads helps the sphincter remain closed enough to prevent reflux. However, swallowing breaks the magnetic bond, so food and liquids can pass as usual to the stomach.
Implanting LINX® does not require significant changes to internal structures, so it doesn’t limit future treatment. It can also be removed without damage to the esophagus.
What is recovery like?
After the LINX® device is in place, patients can usually go home the same day or the next day. They can also resume a normal diet (as long as it’s well-tolerated) after the surgery. Patients can usually return to mild activities a few days after surgery. As with any surgery, patients should consult with the surgeon regarding any post-surgery care, diet, or activities.
What about side effects?
Because implanting LINX® does not change the structure of the esophagus or other nearby organs, side effects such as difficulty belching, bloating, and swallowing are less of a problem than with surgeries that wrap stomach tissue around the esophagus to prevent reflux.
Is LINX an option for you?
LINX® may be an option for you if you are older than 21 and have GERD that is unresolved, even with taking medications to treat the condition, or if you are concerned about side effects of long-term medication use for GERD. Patients who have suspected or known allergies to certain metals – titanium, stainless steel, nickel or ferrous materials – are not candidates for the LINX® procedure.