CAMC is the first in southern West Virginia to offer a new, FDA-approved treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) called the LINX Reflux Management System. The device is implanted during a laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) surgery that typically takes less than one hour, offering patients a quicker recovery, immediate relief from reflux, and a faster return to a normal diet compared to other procedures.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic, often progressive disease that affects one in five American adults. It is caused by a weak muscle in the esophagus called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). The LES is your body’s reflux barrier, which normally acts like a one-way valve, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach but preventing stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. In people with reflux, the barrier doesn’t close completely, allowing harmful acid and bile to flow back into the esophagus, resulting in both pain and injury to the esophageal lining. Reflux can lead to potentially serious complications, including Barrett's esophagus (pre-cancer) and esophageal cancer.*
How LINX works
LINX is a small, flexible ring of titanium bead magnets about the size of a quarter that is placed around the esophagus just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep the LES closed to prevent reflux. When you swallow, the force breaks the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach. The magnetic attraction recloses the LES immediately after swallowing, restoring the barrier.
LINX is for patients diagnosed with GERD as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who continue to have chronic GERD symptoms despite maximum medical therapy for the treatment of reflux.
“This procedure is going to be very effective for people who suffer from chronic reflux,” said Samuel Rossi, MD, general and bariatric surgeon at the CAMC Weight Loss Center. “Studies have shown that it’s a better option for acid reflux versus medical therapy. It’s not as invasive as traditional surgeries, it’s reversible, and you can return to normal activities much sooner than traditional surgery.”
LINX is only available at select comprehensive medical centers that specialize in advanced laparoscopic surgery.
"We have spent many years performing the Nissen fundoplication surgery at CAMC, and now with the LINX option, we can help patients determine which procedure is right for them,” Rossi said.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a debilitating disease that affects one in five American adults. The most common symptom is heartburn. Other symptoms include regurgitation, sore throat, cough and/or chest pain. Medications used to treat GERD fall into three categories:
Medications are designed to control or suppress acid production in the stomach, but they do not address the cause of reflux or prevent it. Symptoms also may return after a person stops using them.
How is LINX® different?
It's a simple device that restores your reflux barrier. LINX is intended for patients diagnosed with GERD as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy.