Watch this video as
Dr. Sewell places a LINX device laparoscopically
Unlike other anti-reflux operations, following LINX® there are no dietary restrictions. In fact patients are encouraged to resume eating normal food the next day after the device is implanted. For more dietary guidelines clickHere.
LINX is the newest minimally invasive option for treating symptoms of acid reflux, GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or Laryngo-Pharyngeal Reflux (LPR). It involves the placement of a ring of titanium covered magnets around the lower part of the esophagus. This simple, yet ingenious device provides a static pressure assistance to the lower esophageal sphincter mechanism (LES), helping prevent the abnormal passage of acid contents from the stomach up into the sensitive esophagus and into the throat.
When food or liquids are swallowed and reach the LINX device, the pressure created inside the esophagus causes the magnets to separate temporarily, allowing the material to pass on into the stomach. The magnetic attraction of the individual beads draws them back together once the swallowing process is complete.
The LINX® system was approved by the FDA in 2012 for the treatment of acid reflux and GERD. In clinical trials it has been shown to be highly effective for the alleviation of reflux related symptoms with a low incidence of complications in selected patients.
Patient Selection for LINX®
To determine whether the LINX® System is an appropriate option, all patients should undergo a thorough evaluation of the esophagus and stomach. The minimum testing required includes an upper GI endoscopy and an esophageal motility study. Additional testing, including pH monitoring and X-ray studies may be needed, not only to confirm the diagnosis of acid reflux, GERD, LPR or hiatal hernia, but also to determine whether the LINX® System is the best option.
The ideal candidates for the LINX® System are patient who suffer from chronic symptoms of acid reflux, GERD or LPR, and are either incompletely controlled with acid suppressing medications, are unable to take acid suppressing medications due to side effects or drug interactions, or who simply wish to avoid a lifetime of taking these powerful medications. The LINX® System may not be appropriate for patients with large hiatal hernia or for those with a poorly functioning esophagus.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with the placement of the LINX® system, including the possibility of perforation of the stomach or esophagus. It is also possible for the device to erode through the wall of the esophagus or even migrate up above the diaphragm. Each of these possibilities is unlikely, but not impossible.
The most common problem that has been reported with the LINX® system is referred to as dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. Typically, this is a temporary problem related to tissue reaction at the site of the device. However, a small percentage of patients are unable to tolerate the LINX® system, requiring that it be removed.
Because LINX® is a magnetic device, patients are instructed to notify the radiologist before any imaging studies that involve magnetic fields. The new LINX® device has been engineered to be safe to undergo an MRI provided the strength of the magnet is 1.5 tesla or less.
Watch this Animated Video
showing how LINX works