Boston Medical Center Offers New Reflux Treatment
Photo courtesy of Boston Medical Center
Boston is known for being on the cutting edge of both medicine and technology, and a new treatment from Boston Medical Center (BMC) is furthering the image. BMC is one of only two hospitals in New England and 20 nationwide that offers the LINX Reflux Management System, a new treatment for gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) in which a device is affixed to the lower part of the esophagus to support the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), an area often compromised in people with GERD.
The LINX system is put into place during a one-hour, mildly invasive laparoscopic procedure and is made out of a string of connected titanium beads with magnetic centers. The system allows the LES to imitate proper function, preventing the reflux of stomach acid and bile into the esophagus—the hallmark trait of GERD.
Hiran Fernando, chief of the division of thoracic surgery and director of the center for minimally invasive esophageal surgery at BMC, says in a report about LINX:
“The LINX system is designed so that when exposed to the normal forces generated during swallowing, the magnetic bonds will temporarily break, allowing food and liquid to pass in the usual manner from the esophagus into the stomach.”
And, Fernando explains, LINX eliminates uncomfortable symptoms frequently associated with traditional GERD treatments like gas bloat and difficulty burping:
“Because of the ability of the magnetic ring to open and close with the LINX system, this problem is eliminated in 99 percent of cases,” said Fernando.
GERD may not be a glamorous topic, but we’re always happy to see yet another medical advancement happening right here in our backyard.