Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux disease that can become a persistent issue for patients. GERD can also lead to longer-term complications. To treat GERD at its root cause, your reflux doctor may recommend surgery. GERD surgery can be an effective way at relieving your GERD symptoms long term. Below, we will take a look at one type of GERD surgery called the LINX® Reflux Management System and the things we love most about it.
GERD is caused by a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter or LES, a muscle that opens and closes to control the passage of food to the stomach. When the LES is weakened, stomach acid can rise back into the esophagus. The LINX® procedure involves the placing of a small, flexible band of magnets surrounded in titanium beads around the esophagus. The beads emit a magnetic attraction that works to strengthen the LES. It’s an incredibly innovative technology, and a great alternative to more invasive surgical options like Nissen fundoplication.
Here are five things we love about the LINX® Procedure:
Reason #1 To Love LINX®: It’s A Minimally Invasive Outpatient Procedure
The LINX® procedure is minimally invasive, only takes around an hour to complete, and the majority of patients return home the same day. Other standard GERD surgeries are more invasive, may require an overnight stay, and have significantly longer recovery time post operation.
Reason #2 To Love LINX®: Fast Recovery Time
LINX® Recovery time is notably less than other surgical procedures. After the procedure, most patients can return home in just a few hours. Once home, most people can resume their normal daily activities within a few days once the pain subsides. Most doctors will recommend that you avoid abdominal exercises such as crunches for a few weeks.
Reason #3 To Love LINX®: Swift Return to Normal Eating
Most patients can begin eating normally within 24 hrs of the LINX® procedure, which is a huge benefit over other anti-reflux procedures, which often require several weeks of a liquid diet post-procedure. You will likely still notice some discomfort swallowing initially after your procedure, but with by eating softer foods the first few days after surgery this is manageable. If you continue experiencing difficulty swallowing, let your doctor know.
Reason #4 To Love LINX®: Cutting-Edge Technology
The technology of the magnetic beads allows patients with the LINX® System to eat normally as the beads expand when food is swallowed to allow it to pass through, but otherwise remain tight to strengthen the LES and keep stomach acid from rising into the esophagus. Other GERD surgeries can limit the patient’s ability to eat normally, as the anatomy of the stomach must be altered to achieve the desired results.
Reason #5 To Love LINX®: You Can Kick the Medications
Most GERD medications only treat the symptoms, and can oftentimes create uncomfortable side effects like abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. The LINX® System treats the root cause of GERD and most patients can completely stop taking their previous medications. The effectiveness rate of this acid reflux surgery option is also incredibly high. Many patients can stop taking their medications the same day, and around 90% of patients reported being able to stop taking Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) within the first year.
You don’t have to live with the uncomfortable symptoms of GERD or continue taking medications that don’t treat the root cause of your GERD. Talk to your doctor to see if the LINX® Reflux Management System is right for you!