GERD is often called “reflux,” “reflux esophagitis,” or sometimes inaccurately referred to as a “hiatus hernia.” Gastroesophageal reflux is the term used to describe a backflow of acid from the stomach into the swallowing tube or esophagus.
Gastroesophageal reflux is a normal phenomenon. It typically occurs transiently after eating. GERD is the condition where the degree of exposure of esophageal mucosa to gastric contents is greater than normal. The most common symptom is heartburn but patients may have other symptoms as well.
Almost everyone experiences gastroesophageal reflux at some time. The usual symptom is heartburn, an uncomfortable burning sensation behind the breastbone, most commonly occurring after a meal. In some individuals, reflux is frequent or severe enough to cause more significant problems and to be considered a disease. When it reaches that point, it is a medical condition called GERD. So GERD isn’t just “something you ate.” It’s a real disease and a real problem for millions of sufferers.
Treatment for GERD:
Treatment options will vary with the symptoms, but can generally be broken down into three main categories:
- Lifestyle Changes
Incisionless Heartburn Surgery – TIF
EsophyX or TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) is the safest and newest surgical treatment for effectively treating chronic acid reflux disease. This is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or (GERD).
- Hoarseness or a sore throat
- Frequent swallowing
- Asthma or asthma-like symptoms
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Sleep disruption (unable to sleep lying down)
- Excessive clearing of the throat
- A persistent cough
- Burning in the mouth or throat
- Intolerance of certain foods
- Dental erosions or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation
These symptoms are likely to be caused in part by a hiatal hernia. When a hiatal hernia occurs part of the stomach moves up through an opening (hiatus) in the diaphragm. The presence of a hiatal hernia increases the risk for gastroesophageal reflux. This surgery may also be used for some people who do not have a hiatal hernia.
This procedure is completely incisionless, which, through the hands of a qualified surgeon, reconstructs the antireflux barrier, providing an anatomical solution for the root causes of GERD. Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication is performed endoscopically using the innovative EsophyX surgical device from EndoGastric Solutions. In clinical studies, 79 percent of patients remained off daily proton pump inhibitors and 70 percent experienced a total elimination of heartburn at two years after the EsophyX TIF procedure.
The LINX System
What is the LINX system?
The LINX system is a string of magnetic beads that are placed around the lower esophagus, preventing acid reflux, while allowing food to be swallowed. The procedure is performed laparoscopically during an outpatient procedure.
A weak lower esophageal sphincter allows stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus. The LINX system prevents acid reflux while allowing the esophagus to push food through the device and into the stomach.
How it works:
The LINX system sits around the lower esophageal sphincter, helping keep it closed. This prevents stomach content from refluxing back up into the esophagus. When a person swallows, the magnetic beads are pushed apart, allowing the food to pass through to the stomach. Once the food has passed through, the device returns to the resting state, supporting the lower esophagus to remain closed.
Advantages of LINX:
- 92% of patients are reflux-free without medications
- No alteration of your stomach anatomy
- No gas bloat
- No alterations to your diet
Who is a candidate for LINX:
- Mild to moderate acid reflux
- Reflux symptoms despite daily medications
- Normal esophageal function
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