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You’re lying in bed at night hoping to get some needed rest when the familiar feeling of heartburn settles in. You might not realize it, but this is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD and medication isn’t helping, a solution called LINX Reflux Management System might be right for you.
What is GERD?
“GERD is basically what we call acid reflux,” says Dr. James Parker, general surgeon at Kettering Health Hamilton. “It’s where the stomach loses its ability to keep stomach acid within the stomach itself.”
Dr. Parker explains that even though some people might not feel it’s a problem, anyone who experiences heartburn regularly should see a doctor.
“The disease typically progresses if uncontrolled or habits haven’t changed,” he says. Recommended habit changes include limiting alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and carbonated drinks.
Along with heartburn and general discomfort, people with GERD commonly have a hiatal hernia, where the stomach is pulled into the chest. Without medical intervention, GERD can also lead to stomach ulcers and esophageal cancer in extreme cases.
In many cases, patients with GERD find relief with medication. But sometimes, medication is not enough.
LINX Reflux Management System
If a patient’s GERD symptoms aren’t effectively controlled with medicine, they may be a candidate for the LINX Reflux Management System. LINX is a magnetic band of beads surgically placed around the esophagus to help reduce symptoms of GERD.
“[LINX] opens up every time you swallow,” Dr. Parker says, “but it stays closed with enough pressure to keep acid in the stomach.”
Dr. Parker performs the LINX procedure, which, he shares, is robotic assisted, minimally invasive, and takes less than an hour.
Most patients are able to go home after one night, and some go home the same day. “95% of patients do really well with it,” Dr. Parker says.