Chronic heartburn is painful and can lead to long-term health issues if left alone. It can also be tricky to manage, so people may try numerous treatments before something works. If less invasive treatments fail to stop your heartburn from coming back, it may be time to look into surgical solutions.
The LES and Heartburn
The LINX System controls acid reflux by reinforcing the barrier between your esophagus and your stomach. Normally, this barrier—a ring of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)—prevents stomach acid from surging up into the esophagus. However, if it’s too weak to function normally, you’ll get regular acid reflux as gastric forces push stomach fluids up through the LES closure. This acid causes the burning sensation we know as heartburn.
Support for the LES
If a weak LES is causing your heartburn, then the LINX System can help you. The system uses a flexible band of magnetic beads that form a ring around the LES, constricting it like a rubber band. Swallowing can still force the metal ring open to allow food to go down, but pressure in the stomach can no longer force acid up.
The magnetic beads are implanted through a procedure called a laparoscopy. This procedure involves minimal cutting and is usually completed within an hour. Your esophagus is carefully measured to get the right size, and then the ring is tied around the LES. After the procedure is completed, the LINX System will take effect right away.
Effects of LINX
Most patients experience either a reduction or total elimination of heartburn symptoms after having the LINX System implanted. Because of the way the system works, it might also lead to difficulty swallowing, but studies show that very few people experience that on a daily basis.
To discuss the options available to you when it comes to controlling acid reflux and stopping heartburn, contact Dr. Malladi to schedule an appointment. The LINX System and other minimally invasive procedures are available to help you fix heartburn permanently.