(April 25, 2013)— Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) now offers treatment to patients with severe acid reflux with a new procedure that inserts a tiny magnetic device shaped like a bracelet at the base of the esophagus. The implant has been shown to improve life for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) sufferers more effectively than prescription medicine.
“This new device will be life-changing for many GERD patients,” says Adrian Park, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery at AAMC. “It is an innovative, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep a weak esophageal sphincter closed to prevent reflux,” explains Dr. Park. The LINX® Reflux Management System is implanted with a standard minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.
A recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provides clinical evidence of safety and effectiveness of the device. The majority of patients in the study were able to substantially reduce or resolve their reflux symptoms, while eliminating use of their reflux medications. Severe regurgitation was eliminated in 100 percent of patients, and nearly all patients (93 percent) reported a significant decrease in the need for medication.
President and CEO of Torax Medical and the developer of the LINX® System, Todd Berg, stated, “After years of extensive development and clinical studies, we are pleased to have the LINX® System available to patients in the U.S. suffering from GERD. We will work with medical centers that have a specific expertise in the treatment of reflux disease to create ‘Centers of Excellence’ for the LINX® System.”
GERD is thought to affect 10 to 20 million people in the U.S.* It is a chronic, often progressive disease resulting from a weak lower esophageal sphincter that allows harmful gastric fluid to wash back up into the esophagus. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, regurgitation, inability to sleep, and dietary constraints. Acid suppression drugs, such as Prevacid®, Nexium®, and Prilosec®, affect gastric acid production, but do not fix the sphincter defect and allow continued reflux. Reflux can progress to a pre-cancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus and possibly esophageal cancer.
Call 443-481-6699 for an appointment to learn more about whether this device is right for you.
Sources: *According to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons