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LINX Reflux Management System


GERD & LINX Reflux Management System

What is it?

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a very common condition in which stomach contents reflux into the lower esophagus causing a variety of symptoms. This condition, which creates the sensation of heartburn, is one of the most common esophageal ailments Americans face today. When left untreated, GERD may increase the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus.

What causes it?

The cause of GERD is typically multifactorial and involves factors that affect the ability of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle to prevent stomach contents from refluxing into the esophagus. These factors include abnormal positioning of the sphincter (such as in the case of hiatal hernia), consumption of certain foods that affect its ability to contract (alcohol, caffeine, peppermint, etc.), and a variety of other factors.

What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptoms of GERD are referred to as typical symptoms. These include heartburn, abdominal or chest pain, belching or bloating, and difficulty swallowing. Atypical symptoms result from the effects of reflux on the respiratory system, and include chronic cough, pneumonia, wheezing, and hoarseness of the voice.

How is it Diagnosed?

The work-up for GERD typically begins with an upper endoscopy, in which the lining of the esophagus can be evaluated and biopsied to determine if any pre-malignant changes have occurred (Barrett’s esophagus). A hiatal hernia may also be detected during this procedure. Hiatal hernias and other structural variations may be further evaluated by an upper GI barium swallow exam, which will allow the esophagus and stomach to be visualized on an x-ray. The function of the esophageal muscles should also be evaluated by a manometry test which measures the pressures in the esophagus during swallowing.

The diagnosis and severity of GERD is finally confirmed with a 24-hour pH test. This is accomplished either by placing a small tube into the esophagus which protrudes from the nose or an implantable device that eventually passes out through the GI tract. Information regarding acid exposure to the lower esophagus is recorded and may be analyzed to generate a score (DeMeester score) that describes the severity of GERD.

Evaluation for Treatment

Patients with GERD need a full evaluation of their esophageal anatomy and function prior to consultation for surgical treatment. Pre-operative tests include upper endoscopy (EGD) and video barium swallow. Patients may also require an esophageal manometry test with a 24 hour acid evaluation. The basic evaluation can be performed by your gastroenterologist or our specialists can recommend and perform the required tests. Some tests may need to be repeated. To schedule an appointment call 614-293-3230.

LINX Reflux Management System

The LINX System is a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. The magnetic attraction between the beads is intended to help the LES resist opening to gastric pressures, preventing reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. LINX is designed so that swallowing forces temporarily break the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach. Magnetic attraction of the device is designed to close the LES immediately after swallowing, restoring the body’s natural barrier to reflux.  The LINX System is placed around the esophagus just above the stomach using a common, minimally invasive surgical technique called laparoscopy.  Patients are placed under general anesthesia during the procedure, which generally lasts less than an hour. The LINX System does not require any anatomic alteration of the stomach. Most patients go home the day after surgery and resume a normal diet.  For additional information, please visit: http://toraxmedical.com/linx/.

Media Coverage -

Bracelet Provides Surgical Fix for Acid Reflux

WBNS-TV/10

7/12

Forty million Americans struggle with acid reflux, a digestive problem that often triggers heartburn.  Maryann Campbell, a Dublin woman was one of them, until she got a relief with a bracelet. It's called the Lynx System, and it is essentially a bracelet for heartburn. The tiny bracelet, the size of a man's ring, is a flexible band of magnetic beads encased in titanium. Dr. Kyle Perry, a gastrointestinal surgeon at the OSU Wexner Medical Center, said it can be slipped around the esophagus where it enters the stomach, with minimally invasive surgery. "It helps just create a barrier to stomach contents coming back up and causing burning and the sensation of fluid coming up into the throat," Dr. Perry said. 

WBNS-TV

This information is not intended to replace a visit with your physician. If you have further questions, please call 614-293-4499.