LINX Treatment for GERD
UC Irvine Health esophageal disease experts now offer the LINX® Reflux Management System for people whose chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) cannot be controlled medically, including daily use of medications such as proton pump inhibitors (PPI).
Unlike standard surgical treatments for GERD, the minimally invasive LINX treatment uses a tiny bracelet of magnetic titanium beads to surround and compress the lower esophageal sphincter. This valve normally prevents stomach fluids from refluxing into the esophagus (image 1).
The magnetic attraction between the beads prevents gastric pressure from pushing open the muscle. The bracelet is flexible enough that the force of swallowing allows the beads, which are strung with titanium wire, to expand with the normal passage of food into the stomach (image 2).
The LINX procedure generally takes less than an hour. It is performed laparoscopically, under general anesthesia.
Because no surgical alteration of the stomach or the esophagus is needed, most patients are able to go home the day after surgery. Most are able to resume a normal diet immediately.
In studies of the LINX system, which was approved in 2012 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat GERD, 90 percent of patients reported improvement in reflux symptoms or were able to eliminate medications a year after treatment.
Benefits of LINX may include:
- Reduction or elimination of heartburn and acid reflux
- Reduction or elimination of anti-reflux medications
- Less invasive than standard surgical treatment for GERD
- Discharge within a day after surgery
- Faster recovery and return to normal diet
Patients who have the LINX procedure can only undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) under very specific circumstances, because the magnetic beads can interfere with or damage the imaging device. Further studies on the safety of MRIs on patients who have had the LINX procedure are ongoing.
You no longer have to live with GERD and a lifetime of medication. We at the UC Irvine Health H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center work with you to develop a personal care plan to ensure your health and quality of life.
Check with your health insurer to determine whether this procedure is covered.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call our GERD specialists at 888-717-GIMD (888-717-4463).