GERD y LINX Procedure
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic form of acid reflux, affects 20% of Americans. When your GERD symptoms become severe or damage your esophagus, you can count on Abel Bello, MD, and the doctors at MIB Surgery in Plantation, Florida. As a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of GERD and a national trainer for the LINX anti-reflux procedure, Dr. Bello has successfully performed hundreds of procedures, providing long-term relief from GERD.
¿What is GERD?
GERD begins as acid reflux, a problem that occurs when contents in your stomach flow up into your esophagus.
A round muscle, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), lets food into the stomach, then closes tightly to ensure strong stomach acid doesn’t get out. If the LES weakens or relaxes, acid reflux develops.
GERD develops when acid reflux becomes frequent and chronic. You may be diagnosed with GERD when you have mild acid reflux at least twice every week, or moderate-to-severe acid reflux at least once a week.
¿What symptoms and complications develop due to GERD?
GERD causes the same symptoms as acid reflux:
- Chronic dry cough
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Feeling like there’s a lump in your throat
Untreated GERD often leads to potentially serious complications. As stomach acid enters your esophagus, it causes inflammation and scar tissue that narrows the esophagus and makes it hard to swallow.
Stomach acid can cause a painful, bleeding ulcer in the esophagus. Ongoing exposure to stomach acid also leads to precancerous changes in the tissues lining the esophagus, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
¿How is GERD treated?
The first line of treatment for GERD includes medications, such as antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.
Depending on the severity of your GERD, you may be able to improve your symptoms by avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux, eating small meals, and raising the head of your bed.
If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight relieves GERD symptoms by reducing the amount of pressure on your abdomen.
If you qualify for bariatric surgery, your best treatment for GERD may be bariatric surgery rather than anti-reflux surgery.
When you need anti-reflux surgery, the doctors at MIB Surgery perform one of the following:
- LINX Reflux Management System: The LINX system consists of a flexible bracelet made of magnetic titanium beads. Using minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Bello places the bracelet around the esophagus at the LES, where the strong magnetic bond strengthens the muscle.
- Gastric fundoplication: Gastric fundoplication or Nissen fundoplication treats acid reflux and repairs a hiatal hernia, which often causes acid reflux. During this laparoscopic procedure, Dr. Bello wraps the top of your stomach around the LES, tightening the muscle and preventing reflux.
- Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF): This procedure is similar to a Nissen fundoplication except it’s done using a specialized endoscopic device that’s guided through your mouth and into the stomach. Then the process of folding the upper stomach around the esophagus is done from inside your stomach.
¿Do you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)? Want to leave the medication and pharmacy visits behind?
At Minimally Invasive and Bariatrics Surgery (MIB), we offer LINX Reflux Management System, a device that is FDA-approved to control the symptoms of GERD. With LINX, avoid the side effects of traditional surgeries for the treatment of GERD: bloating and a developed inability to vomit
¿How does the LINX procedure work?
The LINX Reflux Management System is a flexible bracelet, approximately the size of a quarter, made of magnetic titanium beads that is implanted laparoscopically around the esophagus.
The system, once put in place, strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter—the muscle that allows food to enter and remain in the stomach. Food is better able to stay in the stomach because of the strong magnetic attraction among the beads of the device keep gastric pressures from causing reflux, yet still allows food to enter, and allows the patient to belch and vomit. Once placed in a patient’s stomach, the benefits of this device are immediate.
¿Do I qualify for a LINX device?
Answering “yes” to each the questions below, may mean that you qualify!
- Have you never had bariatric or esophageal surgery?
- Are you 21 years or older?
- Want to stop taking GERD medication?
- Have you never had a hiatal hernia bigger than 2 centimeters?
- Is your body mass index less than 35?
Advantages of the LINX procedure:
In comparison to other surgical treatments of GERD, patients who choose LINX require less time to recover and report less pain. Upon placement, the device begins working right away, eliminating bloating, heart burn, and gas.
Patients who choose LINX can also burp and vomit without harming the LINX device. If problems arise, the device is easily removed. Once the procedure is completed, patients are able to return to a normal, healthy diet almost immediately.
Disadvantages of the LINX procedure:
Risks normally associated with surgery apply to the Lynx procedure, such as bleeding, infection and risks associated with anesthesia. However, the risk of complication is quite low. Some side effects of this procedure include post-surgical pain, temporary bloating, and difficulty swallowing.
Patients who choose LINX must carry a cart that explains they have a metal device implanted in their body upon entering airport security. In only 3% of patients, the device had to be removed because it was too constricting.