LINX MAGNETIC RING FOR ACID REFLUX
Antonios Athanasiou > LINX Magnetic Ring for Acid Reflux
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux is a condition where acid from your stomach passes up into your oesophagus (gullet). If this happens too often it can cause symptoms of a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn) or acid in the back of your mouth. The acid can cause the lining of your oesophagus to become inflamed (oesophagitis) or scarred.
What are the benefits of surgery?
This surgery aims to improve your reflux symptoms. You should get relief from symptoms of acid reflux and no longer need to take medication.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Avoiding foods that make your symptoms worse, especially late at night can help ease your symptoms. Raising the head of the bed can also help. If you are overweight, it may help to lose weight.
Medication that lowers the acid content in your stomach is effective at controlling symptoms and healing the inflammation in your oesophagus.
There is a surgical alternative to a fundoplication called a LINX procedure. This involves placing magnetic beads around your oesophagus to form a valve effect.
Surgery is only recommended if medication does not help, you have side effects from anti-acid medication or if you would prefer to have an operation than take medication for the rest of your life.
LINX Reflux Management System
LINX Reflux Management System is a laparoscopic, fundic-sparing anti-reflux procedure indicated for patients diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Unlike a fundoplication, which creates a flap valve, LINX is a flexible ring of small magnets placed around the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)—the strength of the magnets is precisely calibrated to help keep the weak LES closed to prevent reflux.
Advantages of the LINX procedure
- Minimally invasive: The surgeon makes a small laparoscopic incision (as small as a pencil eraser) in the patient’s abdomen, just above the stomach.
- No changes to your anatomy: The LINX device is implanted around your esophagus and doesn’t require surgically altering your digestive system.
- No lengthy hospital stay: The procedure takes about 60 minutes (under general anesthesia). Patients generally go home on the same or next day.
- No change to esophageal function: LINX doesn’t interfere with your ability to swallow food or liquids and doesn’t result in bloating by limiting the passage of air from your stomach.
- Noninterfering and removable: If in the future you and your doctor decide on a different treatment plan, the LINX device does not limit your choices.
What to expect after LINX
How long is the recovery from LINX procedure?
Most patients are discharged the same or next day after surgery. Pain or discomfort can be expected within the first week, with a full recovery within three to six months.
Can you eat normally after LINX procedure?
The LINX device begins to work immediately and you should be able to eat and drink normally the day after the procedure. It is important to go slow with three to six small meals a day, and choose soft, moist foods cut into small pieces, which are easier to manage.
Avoid drinking really hot or cold liquids, which could cause discomfort. To keep scar tissue flexible around the device, you are encouraged to eat or drink something every hour for the first four to six weeks after surgery.
How long does the LINX device last?
Designed to be a lifelong implant, the LINX device is made of titanium and permanent magnets. If needed, it can be removed with an additional laparoscopic procedure.
Should you avoid diagnostic imaging after LINX
An MRI that is more than 1.5 Tesla should be avoided if you have a LINX device, as it could cause serious injury. If you are prescribed an MRI, inform the doctor and MRI technologists that you have an implanted device.
A five-year study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (May 2016; Vol. 14 Iss. 5, pp. 671-677) confirmed the long-term results of the LINX Reflux Management System in controlling reflux-related symptoms and concluded LINX should now be considered a first-line anti-reflux therapy for appropriate patients.
According to the study, after treatment with LINX:
- 85% of patients were free from dependence on daily reflux medication.
- 88% of patients reported that heartburn had been eliminated.
- 99% of patients eliminated regurgitation.
- Patients reported significant improvement in gassiness and bloating.