Did you know that more than 20% of adults in America have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? Heartburn, acid reflux and regurgitation are all symptoms of GERD and can have a lasting impact on your quality of life. GERD is also the number one cause of esophageal cancer.
If you or a loved one are affected by GERD, St. Elizabeth Healthcare invites you to a special Facebook Live to learn more about LINX, a surgical alternative for GERD treatment. In a majority of cases, LINX recipients feel better immediately and are gradually able to stop all GERD-related medication.
GERD relief after 25 years
The November 13 Facebook Live features Tristate resident Julie Hayes, who has struggled with GERD for more than 25 years. Julie’s symptoms of severe heartburn, reflux and regurgitation significantly disrupted her daily life. It even upset her sleep: Julie slept propped up at a 90-degree angle to try to alleviate her frequent regurgitation.
Although Julie faithfully took proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication for years, managing her GERD through medications eventually stopped working. She also had a procedure to stretch her esophagus because food was getting “stuck” on the way down, but her symptoms persisted.
Julie was ready to take control of her health – and take back her life. She met with Valerie Williams, M.D., a thoracic surgeon at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, to discuss GERD treatment options. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Williams determined that Julie would be an ideal candidate for LINX surgery.
“Julie had persistent and progressive GERD symptoms despite medical management,” says Dr. Williams. “Surgery was a particularly good option given her regurgitation and presence of a hiatal hernia.”
What is LINX?
Magnetic sphincter augmentation, or LINX, is a minimally invasive surgical alternative to treat GERD. The procedure restores the lower esophageal sphincter (valve) by laparoscopically implanting a device the size of a quarter.
This bracelet-shaped circle of magnetic titanium beads opens and closes to let food come down but prevents stomach acid from coming back up into the esophagus. LINX does not alter the anatomy of the stomach, and it retains the patient’s ability to burp and vomit.
“LINX is particularly effective for patients with regurgitation,” says Dr. Williams. “Acid medications may take away the “sting” of reflux, but it doesn’t change the fact that fluid is still coming up.”
Compared to patients just using medication therapy for GERD:
- 89% of LINX patients had relief of moderate to severe regurgitation as compared to patients using twice-per-day proton pump inhibitors (PPI).
- 85% of LINX patients are able to completely come off acid suppression medications for their heartburn.
LINX is FDA approved and more than 30,000 devices have been implanted worldwide. Currently, Dr. Williams is the only surgeon in the Cincinnati/NKY area to perform this procedure and has performed more than 100 LINX surgeries as well as participated in the groundbreaking CALIBER Study, which compared LINX surgery to twice-per-day PPI medical therapy.
St. Elizabeth can help you become GERD-free
Julie recently retired and is thrilled to have her life back. Since her June 2019 surgery, Julie is medication-free and GERD-free, thanks to Dr. Williams and LINX.
“I no longer have acid reflux or regurgitation during the day and night – and I can sleep lying down!” says Julie. “I can finally eat anything I want with no issues.”
GERD isn’t something you should have to struggle with each day. Learn more about the LINX surgery by joining the St. Elizabeth Facebook Live on November 13 at 10 a.m.
Julie’s surgery will show the anatomy of a hiatal hernia, which is the most common reason for a defective lower esophageal valve, as well as how LINX is placed to replace the patient’s reflux barrier.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with the St. Elizabeth Thoracic Surgery office, please call (859) 301-2465