LINX Procedure

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Surgery

LINX Procedure - Minimally Invasive Treatment for GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also referred to as acid reflux, is a chronic digestive disease in which acid and bile flow back from the stomach into the esophagus, creating pain and often causing damage to the lining of the esophagus. GERD usually has a life-long negative impact on an individual’s quality of life.

The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn. However, GERD can produce a wide variety of symptoms including:

  • Dental erosion and bad breath
  • Change in voice
  • Cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Asthma
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Chest pain
  • Regurgitation

Causes of GERD – This condition is caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally the LES acts like a one-way valve, allowing food and liquid to pass through to the stomach, but preventing stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus.

Risks of GERD – In addition to producing a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, GERD can also lead to potentially serious complications including:

  • Esophagitis (inflammation that can damage the tissue of the esophagus)
  • Stricture (narrowing of the esophagus)
  • Barrett’s esophagus (pre-cancerous changes to the tissue lining the esophagus)
  • Esophageal cancer

If your GERD symptoms are severe and cannot be eased with medicine or lifestyle changes, your doctor may suggest surgery.

LINX Reflux Management – The LINX Reflux Management System augments the weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES), reinforcing the body’s natural barrier to reflux. The LINX System is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The beads are connected by titanium wires. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep the LES closed to prevent reflux. Swallowing temporarily breaks the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach. Magnetic attraction between the beads closes the LES after swallowing, reinforcing the barrier to reflux.

The procedure is minimally invasive, takes about one hour, and starts working immediately. LINX is designed to be a lifelong implant.

If you suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), the LINX® procedure offered at St. Francis Medical Center may be an option for you. Talk with your physician.