GERD is short for gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. For obvious reasons, people often shorten the term to just Reflux Disease. Perhaps it is best known, however, as old-fashioned Heartburn. For the first time in 25 years, with the advent of the LINX Reflux Management System, the future for heartburn sufferers is very bright.
Typically GERD has been managed with either over the counter or prescription medications. Over the counter medications such as Tums or Alka seltzer provide instant relief but are short acting. Stronger over the counter medications such as Zantac, Pepcid AC provide longer lasting heartburn relief but often result in relapse or incomplete relief. The newest heartburn medications are called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs’). PPI’s include medications such as Prilosec, Nexium, Aciphex, Protonix and Prevacid. These medications were first introduced over 20 years ago. Most people who use these medications to control their heartburn find them to be helpful but do not completely cover symptoms. These meds are often a band-aid at best. The future holds something different.
Life with GERD can be very uncomfortable. Many people have to alter their diet to avoid heartburn exacerbations. Some people have to sleep with their chest and head raised so that they can sleep. Many people actually choose to sleep in a recliner to avoid symptoms. The LINX system may just change all of that.
What is the LINX Reflux Management System?
The LINX Reflux Management System to treat GERD is a newly (March 2012) FDA approved simple surgical procedure. The LINX is a simple ring made up of magnets. It is implanted with a laparoscopic surgical procedure that takes 45 minutes or less. As you can see from the short video below, the ring replicates the lower esophageal sphincter function which is often weakened with GERD. This little ring is the future of acid reflux treatment.
The ring stays closed to prevent the lower esophageal sphincter from opening and allowing stomach acid to move into the esophagus causing heartburn symptoms. The magnets open while people are eating and functions like their normal sphincter. This amazing little ring also allows the individual to burp or throw up if needed. The benefits of this ring is that is truly does function much like a normal sphincter functions.
The LINX system is a very exciting option for those suffering from GERD. The procedure is simple to perform and the outcome is great with controlled heartburn symptoms in over 90% of patients. Over 80% of patients are able to stop their antacid treatment medications completely. LINX system recipients are usually able to return to a normal diet and lifestyle free from GERD symptoms. The future is now.