The LINX reflux management system is a device that is designed to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD. The flexible small band of interlinked titanium beads has magnetic cores. This design is used to restore your body's natural barrier to reflux.
The LINX device is implanted around the area of your lower esophageal sphincter. It is used to strengthen any weakness in your sphincter. When this device is used, it can help stop acid in your stomach from coming back up into your esophagus. This fluid is acid and the problem is reflux.
When the acid in your stomach comes into your esophagus, then you have symptoms of heartburn and reflux. After this surgery is performed, you may not even need to take medications to relieve the symptoms.
The LINX device doesn’t stop the movement of food or liquid down into your esophagus and then into your stomach. But it does prevent your stomach contents from coming back up your esophagus. When you swallow, the pressure in your esophagus will increase. This causes the magnetic beads to move apart on the titanium wires.
When the beads move apart from each other, then the magnetic force decreases. So, when the beads separate, the food or liquids will usually pass into your stomach. Then after the food or liquid has passed past the beads, the beads will close.
This device is used on people who have symptoms of GERD, even with medical therapy. If daily medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, don't seem to be doing the job, this is an option. Or, if you are not a candidate for anti-reflux surgery, then this surgery could be done instead.
The LINX system was designed to help the lower esophageal sphincter stop opening when there is gastric pressure. It was also designed to expand when you are swallowing normally. The LINX system will close the lower esophageal sphincter by the magnetic attraction of the beads.
The LINX device will help to prevent abnormal amounts of acid from your stomach from moving back up into your esophagus. Studies support the safety, long-term durability, and efficacy of this treatment.
The benefits of this treatment can include reduction or elimination of acid reflux and heartburn. It can cause a reduction or elimination of taking anti-reflux medication for GERD treatment. It's less invasive than standard surgical treatment for GERD. You are usually discharged a day after having your surgery. Plus, you have a faster recovery time and can return to a normal diet quicker.
You do have to remember that you won't be able to have an MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging when you have the LINX procedure. It's because the magnetic beads can cause you to be injured or the machine to be damaged.
There are a few adverse effects. One is that some patients ended up with an expanded esophagus. Other patients had difficulty swallowing after the procedure. Plus, the LINX device shouldn’t be used if you have any allergies to nickel, iron, stainless steel, or titanium.