Frequent, persistent heartburn can make eating—and life in general—less pleasant, but there are ways to treat it. When dietary and lifestyle changes fail, surgical procedures such as the LINX Procedure can produce lasting relief.
The Impact of Chronic Acid Reflux
GERD, or gastroesophageal acid reflux, is a chronic condition in which you regularly experience difficult, unpleasant symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Throat tightness
- Difficulty swallowing
Uncomfortable, unpleasant symptoms aside, prolonged acid reflux can threaten your health and if not corrected, can lead to other serious conditions such as:
- Esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus)
- Barrett’s esophagus (damage to the lower esophagus)
- Esophageal cancer
GERD is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which acts as a valve between your stomach and esophagus, becomes weakened. This allows the acidic contents of your stomach to flow back up into your esophagus, causing the above symptoms.
How the LINX Procedure Treats GERD
Fortunately, GERD is treatable. One option that can have lasting results is the LINX procedure. The LINX System consists of a ring of titanium covered magnetic beads that are placed around the esophagus at the entrance to the stomach. Magnetic attraction keeps the LES closed most of the time, keeping stomach fluids from backing up into your esophagus. When you eat or drink, the swallow reflex breaks the magnetic bond, forcing open the LES so that food and drink can pass through to the stomach.
The LINX System is placed through minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, which allow for a shorter procedure time and recovery. The procedure is typically finished within an hour, and it’s done under general anesthesia.
Better Eating, Better Life
Those who suffer from GERD and regularly experience sensations of heartburn or regurgitation after meals can benefit from the LINX System. When it’s implanted and calibrated correctly, the pain and discomfort of acid reflux are greatly reduced or eliminated. As such, a number of patients who have undergone this procedure find that they can enjoy eating where once it was an awful experience.
By stopping acid reflux, the LINX System also prevents the long-term effects of GERD. The end result is better health and an improved quality of life.
Is the LINX System Right for You?
You may be able to improve your GERD symptoms through dietary and other lifestyle changes. But if you still experience the annoying symptoms of chronic acid reflux, it may be time to talk to a surgeon about the LINX procedure.