What is LINX?
LINX is an implanted device used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD by augmenting the lower esophageal sphincter.
What is Gastroesophageal Reflux?
Gastroesophageal reflux is a condition characterized by the regurgitation of acidic and bile stomach contents into the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. At the junction of the esophagus and stomach is the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. Weakening of this sphincter can lead to gastroesophageal reflux, a condition in which the acidic contents of the stomach enter the esophagus.
How does LINX Prevent Gastroesophageal Reflux?
The LINX system is a flexible band formed by interlinked titanium beads. Each bead has a magnetic core attracting the other beads, thus creating a force that constricts the band. The LINX system is placed around the lower esophageal sphincter to strengthen its closure. It is designed such that it allows the normal passage of food and water into the stomach but prevents backflow or reflux due to gastric pressures.
Procedure to Implant the LINX System
The LINX system is implanted during a minimally invasive surgical procedure called laparoscopy, which is performed under general anesthesia. A small abdominal incision is made, through which a viewing tube and other instruments are introduced. The appropriate size of the LINX device is determined with the help of a precision tool. An open LINX device is placed around the lower esophageal sphincter and its ends are connected to form a band which securely closes the sphincter.
You may be allowed to leave the hospital on the same day after a short recovery period and may follow your regular diet. As with any surgical procedure, it will take a few days to resume your regular activities.