LINX® (for GERD)
Millions of Americans who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, a debilitating disease that affects one in five U.S. adults, now have a new, safe and effective treatment alternative. Medications for GERD are designed to suppress the production of stomach acid, but they do not address the cause of GERD - a weak sphincter muscle - and they can’t prevent reflux. A large percentage of GERD sufferers continue to have symptoms while taking medications for the disease.
The LINX® Reflux Management System, the only available FDA-approved device for the treatment of GERD, is now available at Lutheran Hospital. The LINX device is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads connected by titanium wires. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep a weak esophageal sphincter closed to stop reflux at its source.
The device is implanted around the weak esophageal sphincter, just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads keeps the weak esophageal sphincter closed to help prevent reflux. Swallowing forces the beads to temporarily separate and allows food and liquid to pass into the stomach.
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is caused by a weak muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that allows acid and bile to flow back from the stomach into the esophagus, creating pain and often causing damage to the lining of the esophagus.
The LINX device is implanted laparoscopically in a minimally invasive procedure that usually takes less than an hour. Patients are usually discharged within 24 hours and can immediately resume a normal diet.
ADVANTAGES OF LINX:
- Requires no alteration to the stomach Reduces gas and bloating
- Reduces gas and bloating
- Preserves the ability to belch and vomit
LINX is a flexible ring of small magnets placed around the LES. The strength of the magnets helps keep the weak LES closed to prevent reflux.
CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS
The three-year results of a five-year clinical study on LINX were recently published in the “New England Journal of Medicine.” The study assessed 100 patients with chronic GERD before and after LINX treatment.
- 100 percent of patients no longer experienced severe regurgitation
- 99 percent of patients no longer experienced daily sleep disruption due to heartburn
- 94 percent of patients were satisfied with their overall outcome
- 92 percent of patients saw a significant reduction in GERD symptoms
- 91 percent of patients were able to stop taking GERD medications
Source: GERD Patient Study; Patients and their Medications (AGA Institute)
The LINX system is placed around the lower esophageal sphincter.
WHAT IS GERD?
The flexible ring of small magnets makes up the LINX system.
Untreated, GERD can not only affect daily activities, it can lead to serious complications like stricture, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.