Life with chronic reflux isn’t pleasant, and you shouldn’t have to “deal” with your symptoms for the rest of your life. That’s why neither of our board-certified reflux surgeons ever recommend band-aid solutions like PPIs for patients who are suffering from GERD. Instead, they use cutting-edge surgical methods to eliminate the symptoms of GERD by treating the root cause. One of the newest and most innovative technologies our surgeons specialize in is the LINX® Reflux Management System.
In the state of Florida, Dr. Gopal Grandhige is the 1st ranked surgeon for LINX®, having performed over 220 LINX® procedures during his career. The procedure is one of the most popular at our clinic and we definitely get a lot of questions about the device, so we’ve created a brief FAQ that patients who are considering the LINX® procedure can reference.
Here are 10 of the frequently asked questions we tend to hear concerning the LINX® Reflux Management System.
1. Will the LINX® Actually Work?
Patients who ask this tend to have experienced some frustration in finding the right treatment option. Naturally, they’re wary of undergoing a surgical treatment option that, in their opinion, may or may not work. But, here’s the good news, according to a clinical trial by Food and Drug Administration:
Before implant, all patients required daily proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). After implant, 8 percent did.
Before implant, 70 percent of patients endured reflux that affected their sleep daily. After implant, 2 percent did.
Before implant, 76 percent of patients had reflux affecting food tolerances. After implant, 2 percent did.
Before implant, 55 percent of patients had severe heartburn affecting daily life. After implant, 1 percent did.
2. How Is LINX® Implanted?
The LINX® technology is implanted using a common, minimally invasive technique called laparoscopy. The technique requires only small incisions in the abdominal wall to access the area around the esophagus where the LINX® will be placed. The procedure is conducted under general anesthesia, but the patient does not have to stay for overnight observation.
3. How Long Does The Surgery Take?
The LINX® procedure tends to take about an hour or less, but, it’s a good idea to allow some time for the anesthesia to wear off after the procedure is complete. Once implanted, the LINX® Reflux Management System will start working immediately.
4. How Long Will LINX® last?
Although they’re still testing the long-term durability of the technology, the LINX® Reflux Management System is built to last a lifetime. LINX® is composed of titanium beads and strong magnets, held together by titanium wires, so they’re in it for the long haul.
5. Will I Be Able To Feel The Implanted LINX®?
While some patients report feeling a slight sensation in the area where the LINX® is implanted, it is unclear whether the feelings stem from the surgery or from the device itself. According to patients, the sensation goes away over time. In some cases, patients have reported trouble swallowing after the device is implanted, this side effect is often only temporary and part of the healing process.
6. When Can I Return To Normal Diet?
After the LINX® is implanted, doctors recommend that patients return to a regular diet slowly in order to give their body time to heal. Most patients will start out with a liquid or semi-liquid diet, but LINX® patients are able to return to a regular diet more quickly than patients who undergo a more invasive procedure like Nissen Fundoplication.
7. When Can I Go Back To Work?
Generally, patients are allowed to return to work after a couple of days of rest. Work activities, or any other activities, must be non-strenuous in order to allow the body to recover accordingly.
8. Will It Affect Imaging Technology?
Good question! There are two versions of the LINX® Reflux Management System. One will allow for MRI imaging up to 0.7 Tesla, and the other up to 1.5 Tesla. Be sure to speak to your reflux surgeon about this and ask about which kind is best for you.
9. Will It Be Affected By Airport Security?
We all get a little worried about getting a beep while passing through airport security, especially if we have any surgical devices in our bodies. Thankfully, the LINX® is made for everyday life and will not affect airport security.
10. Is The Procedure Permanent?
One of the biggest advantages of the LINX® procedure is that is is not permanent, meaning that the LINX® can be removed if a treatment change is necessary. Other reflux surgeries, such as the Nissen Fundoplication and the TIF/Esophyx, involve a plication and are non-reversible.
Picking the right reflux surgery can be tricky, and it’s understandable that patients have questions when it comes to LINX®. LINX® is highly recommended by our surgeons, not only because of its effectiveness (90-92%), but also because it is so noninvasive and simple! For more information about the LINX® Reflux Management System, or any of our other reflux surgery treatments, contact us or book an appointment.