Magnetic Beads Offer New Hope to GERD Suffers
It is estimated that more than 20 million Americans suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Medications such as Zantac, Prilosec, etc may offer short-term relief for some sufferers of this disease. These medications decrease the acid production, but do not prevent the actual reflux in most patients.
GERD results from a weak muscle in the lower esophagus (the tube through which food passes from the mouth to the stomach). When this muscle functions properly, it acts as a protective valve between the esophagus and the stomach. It will allow food and liquid to pass, but will prevent the reflux or back flow of acidic stomach contents. In patients with GERD, the valve is weak or nonfunctional so acid can flow back into the esophagus causing damage. This damage to the esophagus can lead to more serious conditions such as esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus.
There may be new hope for GERD suffers from magnetic beads. Several medical centers around the United States and in Europe are evaluating a non-medical alternative that would prevent the reflux. The device is a flexible band made of magnetic beads called the LINX Reflux Management System. The device is placed during a 20-30 minute laparoscopic surgical procedure. The beads are made of permanent rare earth magnets encased in titanium. Each band is sized to fit the individual patient. The band “stretches” to allow food to pass, but prevents the reflux of acid.
The LINX™ device should not affect airport security, but all patients will be provided an implant card to have available in the event an issue arises.
Interested patients for participation in the LINX Reflux Management System clinical trial can find more information at the links below.
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