If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you know how difficult it is to cope with the symptoms. You are not alone in your discomfort – in fact, the American College of Gastroenterology estimates that 60 million Americans experience GERD every single month. Approximately 1 in 5 U.S. adults suffer from this condition and take medications to treat it, but these treatments only relieve the symptoms, not the cause. However, the LINX System surgery may provide a solution.
What Is GERD?
GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a chronic disease that often worsens over time. Caused by frequent acid reflux, this disease occurs when you have a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The primary purpose of the LES is to keep acid and bile in your stomach and out of your esophagus. When you have a weak LES, the bile flows back into the esophagus and causes an unpleasant sensation.
You have a higher risk of developing GERD if you are obese, eat large meals, eat late at night, smoke, or eat an unhealthy diet full of fatty and fried foods. Frequent GERD can be a debilitating condition with painful, chronic symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
- A burning sensation after eating
- Chronic cough and laryngitis
When left untreated, GERD can lead to serious complications such as inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), precancerous charges to the esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus), and a narrowing or scarring of the esophagus (stricture). In addition, GERD can lead to the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer.
Medications for GERD: Treating Symptoms, Not the Cause
Many Americans rely on medications to treat their GERD, such as antacids, H-2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. These medications control or suppress acid production in the stomach and control the unpleasant symptoms of the condition. However, these medications do not treat the cause of GERD and you will continue to have symptoms.
The LINX System: A Solution for GERD
The LINX System targets the cause of GERD at its source – the weakened LES. Using a flexible band of magnets encased in titanium beads and strung together on titanium wire, the LINX System helps keep the LES closed when necessary and allows it to open when needed. The system works with your body to control your LES movements and keep bile and acid in your stomach. You reduce your symptoms of GERD at the cause, instead of simply targeting its symptoms.
When you choose the LINX System, your surgeon places the magnetic band around the esophagus at the LES using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) techniques. The LINX system magnets keep the LES closed, so stomach contents are not able to travel backwards into the esophagus. The LES remains closed until the magnets are forced open by the swallowing reflex.
Placement of the LINX System takes less than an hour and it begins working immediately. You can resume your normal activities within a couple of days of the LINX System surgery – enabling you to live a life free of GERD.
If you are suffering from GERD in the Dallas area and want to effectively prevent your symptoms, consider opting for the LINX System surgery. Contact Dr. Malladi at Malladi Bariatrics and Advanced Surgery to discuss your treatment options and if the LINX System is right for you.