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Do you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)? Want to leave the medication and pharmacy visits behind?
At Minimally Invasive and Bariatrics Surgery (MIB), we offer LINX Reflux Management System, a device that is FDA-approved to control the symptoms of GERD. With LINX, avoid the side effects of traditional surgeries for the treatment of GERD: bloating and a developed inability to vomit
How does the LINX procedure work?
The LINX Reflux Management System is a flexible bracelet, approximately the size of a quarter, made of magnetic titanium beads that is implanted laparoscopically around the esophagus.
The system, once put in place, strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter—the muscle that allows food to enter and remain in the stomach. Food is better able to stay in the stomach because of the strong magnetic attraction among the beads of the device keep gastric pressures from causing reflux, yet still allows food to enter, and allows the patient to belch and vomit. Once placed in a patient’s stomach, the benefits of this device are immediate.
Do I qualify for a LINX device?
Answering “yes” to each the questions below, may mean that you qualify!
- Have you never had bariatric or esophageal surgery?
- Are you 21 years or older?
- Want to stop taking GERD medication?
- Have you never had a hiatal hernia bigger than 2 centimeters?
- Is your body mass index less than 35?
Advantages of the LINX procedure:
In comparison to other surgical treatments of GERD, patients who choose LINX require less time to recover and report less pain. Upon placement, the device begins working right away, eliminating bloating, heart burn, and gas.
Patients who choose LINX can also burp and vomit without harming the LINX device. If problems arise, the device is easily removed. Once the procedure is completed, patients are able to return to a normal, healthy diet
Disadvantages of the LINX procedure:
Risks normally associated with surgery apply to the Lynx procedure, such as bleeding, infection and risks associated with anesthesia. However, the risk of complication is quite low. Some side effects of this procedure include post-surgical pain, temporary bloating, and difficulty swallowing.
Patients who choose LINX must carry a cart that explains they have a metal device implanted in their body upon entering airport security. In only 3% of patients, the device had to be removed because it was too constricting.
Before the Placement:
Follow the two-week pre-procedure diet as prescribed. Also, don’t eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight before your procedure—otherwise, your procedure will be cancelled. Chewing gum or taking certain medications may also result in a cancelation of your procedure.
Before the surgery:
Patients must be carefully evaluated, undergoing upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy testing and various physiologic testing, to further ensure their candidacy for the procedure. At the doctor visits leading up to your procedure, your doctor will review dietary regimens and procedural instructions you will need to follow closely. This includes not eating or drinking after midnight the night of your procedure.
Day of surgery:
You will be placed under general anesthesia during this procedure, which will be approximately one hour long. Your surgeon, experienced in laparoscopic anti-reflux procedures and specially trained in administering the LINX device, will make several tiny incisions in your abdomen. This is called a laparoscopic approach, which is minimally invasive. Your surgeon will wrap the bracelet-like device around your esophagus where it will stay due to its magnetic bond and eventual encapsulation by your own tissue. The device will begin working immediately!
To ensure that you experience no complications from the surgery or the administered anesthesia, patients are required to recover in the hospital overnight. Within 48 hours you will be able to eat soft foods. Slowly drink a few sips of water before consuming your first bite of food. Also, take small bites and chew thoroughly.
A few days after surgery, you will be able to return to work and your normal activities as soon as taking medication for pain is no longer necessary. Strenuous activities like weight-lifting should be avoided for about three to six weeks. Two weeks after your surgery, you will need to attend a follow-up appointment to ensure that your recovery is without complication. Call your doctor if any complications arise or if you have any questions!