What is the LINX Reflux Management System?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid flows back into the tube that connects your esophagus and mouth. Mostly, the symptoms and discomfort of GERD can be managed with lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter medications. However, for some patients, surgery should be considered to ease the symptoms.
An advanced treatment option for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease is the LINX reflux management system. The device is placed at the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which closes the last few centimeters of the esophagus to prevent the backward flow of stomach contents.
A weak LES remains closed by the force of the magnetic beads. When swallowing, the device expands and allows only a normal flow of food or liquid and restricts the higher gastric pressures that result in reflux. The device returns to the resting state once the food passes through the LES.
LINX – FAQs
What Is LINX?
The LINX device is a series of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. These beads are connected together with titanium wires to form a ring shape. The device is laparoscopically placed around the esophagus to restrict higher pressures of swallowing forces.
How Does It Work?
The LINX reflux device is surgically placed around the lower end of the esophagus to strengthen a weak LES. The device is strong enough to keep the opening closed to refluxing acid and weak enough to allow food and liquid to pass through. The device restricts the flow of stomach contents into the esophagus, which will improve patients’ reflux/regurgitation systems, so they don’t require medications to ease their symptoms.
The LINX device won’t prevent the flow of food or liquids to pass through the esophagus to the stomach. Upon swallowing, the pressure in the esophagus increases and the device expands to allow the food and liquid. The device returns to a closed state after the food and liquid have passed through the esophagus.
When Is the Device Used?
The LINX device is used in patients whose GERD symptoms are not controlled with medications and lifestyle modifications. However, the patients should be eligible for anti-reflux surgery to receive this device.
What Will It Accomplish?
The LINX device will prevent the abnormal flow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus. A clinical study has revealed that patients who received the device have experienced:
- 50% improvement in the flow of acid to the esophagus
- Improvement in their GERD symptoms
- Less to no use of medications to treat their GERD symptoms
Are There Any Side Effects?
A few patients depending on their health condition may experience side effects including:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Slight discomfort
- Temporary bloating of the esophagus
Related Article: What Are Some Advantages of Robotic-Assisted Surgery?
When the Device Should Not Be Used?
The LINX device is not recommended for patients who are allergic to nickel, titanium, iron or stainless steel materials.
Patients with a LINX device should not undergo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedures. The magnetics beads interact with the MRI machine and can cause damages to the device and injuries to the patients.
Contact us to receive the best treatment to ease your GERD symptoms. Dr. Madhu Prasad is the best surgeon in Anchorage and has brought the LINX technology to Alaska and Far North Surgical for the first time.