The LINX Reflux Management System
LINX is a novel medical device used to treat the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, resulting from weakness in the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. The LES is the muscle that forms a one-way valve between the esophagus and the stomach. It allows food and drink to pass through, while stopping acid from coming back up into the esophagus. When it weakens, damaging acid can reflux back into the esophagus causing significant discomfort and complications.
How LINX Works
The LINX device looks like a small bracelet, about the diameter of a quarter, with titanium beads and a magnetic clasp. Using laparoscopic techniques, the device is placed around the LES in a minimally invasive procedure lasting approximately 15-to-20 minutes. Once the magnetic clasp is closed, the device offers extra pressure to assist the LES in closing completely.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting, meaning patients will go home on the day of surgery. The minimally invasive nature of the procedure allows patients to resume normal activity soon after surgery.
While more invasive fundoplication has been the gold standard in GERD treatment over the past few decades, the LINX device addresses many of its most common risks and considerations in qualifying patients.
Benefits of the LINX Procedure
- The LINX procedure has shown excellent resolution benefits in five-year follow-ups. 85% of patients recorded being able to get off their PPIs and 88% of patients reported the elimination of serious GERD symptoms.
- Post-operative recovery is very swift, and patients have no dietary restrictions after surgery. In fact, patients must maintain a normal diet after surgery as part of their postop instructions.
- Gas bloat syndrome is less of a concern when compared to the fundoplication procedure. The ability to vomit and belch is easier and less painful than with a fundoplication.
- In the rare event that the device requires removal, patients may still receive the benefit of improvement in symptoms due to build-up of scar tissue around the lower esophageal sphincter.
Risks and Considerations of the LINX Device
- As with any surgical procedure there are inherent risks, including the risk of a reaction to anesthesia and infection.
- Some patients may have difficult or painful swallowing for up to two weeks after surgery. This resolves quickly in almost all patients.
- Not everyone qualifies for a LINX procedure, especially if they have a very large hiatal hernia, have allergies to titanium, or other complicating factors that will be discussed during consultation.
The LINX procedure is truly a transformative device in the management of GERD. We encourage you to contact our office to learn more about the procedure and see if you qualify.