When it comes to treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the most recommended treatment for eliminating the symptoms of acid reflux long term is surgery. Because GERD is a physical abnormality and a chronic disease, medications such as proton pump inhibitors only alleviate GERD symptoms short term, and may actually worsen the condition over time.
In order to completely eliminate the symptoms of GERD one must deal with its root cause: a physical abnormality affecting the lower esophageal sphincter. One of the best ways to do that is with the LINX® Reflux Management System.
To understand how LINX® works, it’s important to know that patients with GERD generally suffer from a weakened lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, which relaxes inappropriately and allows acid from the stomach to rise through the esophagus or throat, resulting in heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, tooth decay, and more.
To treat this issue with the LES, Torax Medical introduced the LINX® system, a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads which is placed around the exterior wall of the LES during a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.
The LINX® band is held together by titanium wires, which allows it to reinforce the weakened LES by helping it remain closed and preventing stomach acid from splashing back up into the esophagus. When a patient swallows, the LINX® expands with the LES to allow food to pass. After swallowing is complete, the magnets help pull the LES shut again to prevent reflux from occurring.
Benefits Of Choosing The LINX® Reflux Management System To Treat Your GERD
With ten years of market-time, The LINX® Reflux Management System is the newest, most innovative surgical treatment option offered for GERD. It’s also one of the least invasive! Unlike other surgical treatment options, LINX® is an outpatient procedure, which means patients undergoing the procedure don’t have to stay for overnight for observation and can go home the same day.
In addition to the short recovery time, the effectiveness rate of this acid reflux surgery option is also incredibly high (90-92%). The majority of patients who undergo the procedure are able to stop taking their medications the same day, rather than having to wean themselves off of them. The procedure can also be converted to a Lap Nissen Fundoplication down the line, which is a more invasive treatment option that wraps part of your stomach tissue around the LES and is used to treat more severe cases of GERD.
Downsides To Opting For LINX® Over Other Anti-Reflux Procedures
Because the LINX® Reflux Management System procedure is still fairly new, there is not as much data about the effectiveness of the treatment long-term as there is for other procedures that have been around longer. Insurance coverage for the LINX® has also been noted to take the longest authorization time, with about an 80% coverage rate, which is something to consider when determining whether LINX® is right for you,
If you live in Tampa or the surrounding communities and are considering the LINX® procedure as a treatment option for your GERD, you’re in great hands. Tampa Bay Reflux Center Medical Director, Dr. Gopal Grandhige, has performed more LINX® procedures than any other surgeon in the state of Florida and is ranked 5th in the country for the procedure. Schedule an appointment with him to discuss your treatment options!