How Magnets Cure Acid Reflux

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Everyone gets indigestion and heartburn from time to time, but for some individuals who get it several times every day, it can be a life-altering affliction. This severe form of acid reflux is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

In my experience as a surgeon for Our Lady of the Lake, I have worked with a number of patients whose acid reflux was so bad, they couldn’t sleep at night because lying flat would make their condition worse. The irritation to the esophagus can also cause long-term problems like difficulty swallowing or even precancerous changes to the esophageal lining.

In recent months, I’ve been able to offer my eligible patients an alternative treatment that is less invasive, will cause less scarring and allows for a faster recovery period. The new procedure places a device called LINX® around the junction between the esophagus and the stomach. LINX looks a lot like a kid’s candy bracelet, but is actually a band of magnets that can stretch and contract. The magnets are calibrated so that the device opens up to allow food into the stomach, but then the magnets pull back together and are snug enough to prevent reflux in the stomach from splashing up into the esophagus.

The best part is that it’s a laparoscopic surgery, which means it is performed with four or five tiny incisions. It only takes about 30 minutes to an hour to perform, and then the patient wakes up afterward with just a couple of Band-Aids and no diet restrictions.

It’s great to have new technology like this available to not only bring relief to patients, but to bring that relief in a way that provides less pain and a faster recovery. And while new technology is exciting, it’s actually the end result that is the most rewarding. It’s incredibly gratifying to see a new technique bring so much relief to patients.

Not everyone is a good candidate for this surgery and there are other medical or surgical options that may be considered. I would recommend patients consult with their surgeon about whether the LINX surgery may be right for them. For more information, check out the LINX Reflux Treatment page on the Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group website.

About Mark Hausmann

Mark Hausmann, MD, FACS, is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and has practiced general surgery in Baton Rouge since 1992. He graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and later attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received his Doctorate of Medicine. He then completed his general surgery residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Hausmann has been a fellow in the American College of Surgeons since 1995. He performs a wide variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures. Learn more about Dr. Hausmann by clicking here.

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Comments

  1. Sharon Landry says:

    Can you still have an MRI after the precedure ?

    • A patient can have an MRI under the condition that the magnetic field of the machine is less than 0.7 Tesla (magnetic field strength). Patients should discuss MRI scanning options with their doctor prior to deciding on treatment with the LINX system.

  2. How many LINX devices have been implanted by the surgeons group? Is the LINX the first line to surgical treatment before a Nissen is performed?

  3. This is really great info. I suffered from acid reflux for many years and this is the type of advice that really helped me to overcome my problem. So, to all you sufferers, YES! There is hope! Just don’t lose faith and know that your body can heal itself. I was lucky to find some great advice that helped me overcome my acid reflux and get better.

  4. Hello doctors,
    Thanks for share such helpful video on magnets surgery-cure for acid-reflux. I think it’s just in case of final stage of acid reflux. But I see it can be control in initial stage by taking treatment and medicines like “Acidgone”. I will share this information with my friends who have this acid reflux problem.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Persistent acid reflux, or GERD, can cause damage to the esophagus and the larynx causing sore throats and hoarseness and can lead to more serious conditions. Talk your doctor if you experiencing persistent heartburn or talk to one of our specialists at (225) 769-5656. […]

  2. […] Read Dr. Hausmann’s related article “How Magnets Cure Acid Reflux.” […]