LINX Reflux Management System - Dr. Louis Balsama Bariatric Surgery

LINX Reflux Management System

WHAT IS LINX?

LINX Reflux Management System is a ring of titanium beads connected with titanium wires that are magnetically bound to one another. They are placed specifically to work with a weakened sphincter to prevent acid from escaping to the esophagus and causing the symptoms of GERD.

  • Must be diagnosed with GERD
  • Alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy

ADVANTAGES

  • Nearly 90% of GERD patients achieved relief from GERD symptoms compared to patients treated with PPIs
  • Consistent and long-lasting results according to multiple studies
  • Over 80% of treated patients reported satisfaction compared to 2% with PPIs

Recovery

  • Does not require changes to the stomach anatomy
  • Minimally invasive procedure takes less than an hour
  • Return to work or normal activities in just a few days
  • Consume a normal diet shortly after the procedure

FAQ

How Do You Treat GERD?

There are several effective ways to treat acid reflux disease, including twice-daily pills that prevent stomach acids from reaching the esophagus. There is a more novel treatment that allows you to implant a permanent GERD device called LINX to prevent acid from coming up the esophagus without the need for daily medication.

Are medications all that exist for GERD?

No, over-the-counter and prescription anti-reflux medication can be avoided with minimally invasive or surgical procedures that aim to counter the flow of stomach acid back up into the esophagus, including with LINX.

Is LINX the same as anti-reflux surgery?

LINX is an alternative to invasive gastroesophageal surgery that helps support the muscles responsible for opening and closing the bottom of the esophagus with gentle magnetic force. It does not remove tissue or involve suturing any tissue.

Does LINX make it harder to swallow?

No, in clinical trials very few people report any change to the ability to swallow or digest foods while experiencing a 99% effectiveness rate of satisfying reduction in GERD symptoms.

How soon after acid reflux surgery can I eat?

After LINX, you may eat around 48 hours after your procedure.

Does LINX need to be replaced?

The LINX device is intended to be permanent, although no long-term (>10 years) studies have yet confirmed the rate of failure and need for replacement.

Will LINX interfere with MRI?

LINX is made of medical-grade titanium, meaning it will not mess up common diagnostic procedures such as MRI, X-Ray, ultrasound, PET scans, or CT scans.

Does LINX require surgery?

LINX does require a minimal outpatient procedure to implant the quarter-sized device around the base of the esophagus. However, it is an outpatient procedure that does not require a hospital stay.

Can you treat GERD without pills?

Yes, with LINX, twice-daily acid reduction pills are no longer necessary, as the magnetic band contracts around the base of the esophagus, preventing stomach acid from rising while allowing food to easily flow into the stomach.

Does diet affect GERD?

Yes, by limiting or eliminating acidic substances like caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, spicy foods, and even chocolate, you can improve your acid reflux. Not everyone experiences immediate relief, but lifestyle changes like this can help with some GERD symptoms.

What is the LINX Reflux Management System?

The LINX Reflux Management System is a ring of titanium beads connected with titanium wires that are magnetically bound to one another. They are placed specifically to work with a weakened sphincter to prevent acid from escaping to the esophagus and causing the symptoms of GERD.

Is the LINX procedure covered by insurance?

Almost all insurance companies will pay for anti-reflux surgery. However, we recommend reaching out to your insurance company to ensure that they cover this procedure.

How much does LINX surgery cost?

The average cost of the LINX procedure is $13,522. However, this price may differ depending on a number of factors. For more information regarding pricing, please contact our office today.

How long does the LINX procedure last?

The LINX system was created to last a lifetime, so you can enjoy your life without acid reflux. Because this device is created with titanium beads and strong magnets held together with titanium wires, it is strong and long-lasting.

How successful is the LINX procedure?

The LINX procedure success rate is very high. About 90-95% of patients who undergo this procedure are able to stop taking acid medication completely.

Who is not a candidate for LINX surgery?

Patients with weak esophageal peristalsis or hiatal hernias larger than 2 cm are not good candidates for the LINX procedure. The best way to determine if this procedure is right for you is through a consultation appointment with Dr. Balsama.

What type of doctor performs LINX surgery?

A gastroenterologist surgeon or bariatric surgeon can perform the LINX procedure. Be sure to seek out a surgeon who is skilled in performing this procedure for the best outcomes.

Can you eat normally after LINX surgery?

It is recommended that you eat a soft diet on the day of LINX placement. A regular diet can be resumed the day after.

Can you drink alcohol after LINX?

You should not drink alcohol for 72 hours post-op or while taking pain medication.

Can you have an MRI with LINX?

Individuals with a LINX device can safely undergo a wide range of diagnostic imaging tests, including ultrasound, X-ray, PET scan, CT scan, and MRI under certain conditions.

Who is a good candidate for LINX surgery?

Candidates are patients aged 21-75 who have had GERD symptoms for 6 months and take daily proton pump inhibitors.

What side effects should I expect from a LINX procedure?

You may have temporary bloating and difficulty swallowing immediately after surgery but this will quickly resolve on its own.

Will I still need to take acid suppression medication after LINX?

Very few patients have to continue taking medicine for acid reflux after their LINX surgery.

Will weight change affect the outcome of my LINX procedure?

Weight gain puts more pressure on the abdomen which can also put pressure on the LINX device. It is possible that a significant increase in weight can impact the devices ability to work properly.

How long does it take to recover from the LINX procedure?

While you can resume your normal activities a few days after your surgery, the small scars on your incision sites will take about 6 weeks to heal.