LINX ™ Procedure
In people with GERD, the muscle where the esophagus meets the stomach is weak. Known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), when functioning normally, this muscle acts as the body’s natural barrier to gastric acids, preventing reflux. If the LES is weak, it allows acid and bile to flow back into the esophagus, where they can damage the esophageal lining and cause such symptoms as heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, sore throat, and cough. For patients whose heartburn and associated complications do not respond to medical management, LINX is a new surgical option that offers lifelong treatment.
LINX – a surgical procedure – is designed to stop reflux at its source. LINX is a flexible ring of small magnets placed around the LES during a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The strength of the magnets helps keep the weak LES closed to prevent reflux. When patients swallow, LINX opens temporarily to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach.
Surgeons at Abington Hospital operate through five tiny incisions in the abdomen. With specialized instruments, they place the LINX system around the esophagus, just above the stomach. Patients generally go home within one day
“This band helps to prevent gastric acids from pushing back up into the esophagus from the stomach,” says Robert K. Josloff, MD. “It also safely allows the LES to open when required to allow for easy swallowing, as needed.”