Rhinebeck — To relieve severe and chronic heartburn for acid reflux sufferers, Northern Dutchess Hospital now offers a surgical procedure called the Linx Reflux Management System.
The Linx implant is comprised of linked titanium beads that have magnetic centers. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps the esophageal muscle to function properly and prevent harmful stomach acid from flowing into your food pipe, throat and mouth.
The device is implanted by Health Quest Medical Practice general surgeon Dr. Brian Binetti using a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.
“Reflux disease can be debilitating to a person’s quality of life,” he said. “The Linx is a tiny band — about the size of a quarter — that takes less than an hour to put into place and can offer long-term relief.”
Reflux is caused by a weak muscle in the esophagus that allows stomach acid and bile to flow up. It can wear away the lining of the esophagus, damage throat and vocal cords, and cause breathing issues. It also increases the risk of esophageal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, include heartburn and regurgitation, often associated with chronic sleep disruption, and may also include persistent cough, excessive throat clearing, hoarseness and a feeling of a lump in the throat.
Acid reflux medications affect stomach acid production, but do not repair the defect in the closing of the lower esophageal muscle, allowing continued reflux.
“A good candidate is someone diagnosed with GERD, with chronic symptoms, who has tried medications and lifestyle changes with limited to no success,” Binetti said.