New surgical option addresses source of reflux; reduces symptoms and need for medication
More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and some studies suggest that more than 15 million Americans experience heartburn symptoms each day. Today, General Surgeon F. Paul Buckley III, MD, at Scott & White Hospital – Round Rock performed a first in Central Texas utilizing the LINX Reflux Management System on two patients suffering from debilitating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a chronic disease allowing gastric fluid to reflux into the esophagus. The device was recently approved by the FDA.
Nationally, Scott & White Healthcare – Round Rock is one of only a few centers performing this procedure. “For the first time, patients in our Central Texas Region have access to relief from their reflux disease through this minimally-invasive procedure which is performed laparoscopically,” said Dr. Buckley, who serves as Director of the Division of General Surgery and Surgical Director of the Heartburn and Acid Reflux Center (HARC) at Scott & White – Round Rock. “While medications remain a popular choice for GERD sufferers, they often don’t control all of the symptoms of GERD, have potential side-effects and can be costly. The device offers a new and innovative alternative to traditional surgery and has excellent results.”
“We’re excited to offer this treatment option for patients who are appropriate candidates as it represents yet another example of our commitment to providing the highest quality patient care for local and regional residents,” said Melvin Lau, MD, Gastroenterologist and Medical Director of the HARC.
“Signs of reflux disease include heartburn, regurgitation, and acid reflux, resulting in chronic pain and severe injury to the esophagus said Dr. Lau. “This device is implanted in the lower esophageal sphincter. A magnetic beaded bracelet is placed around the esophagus where it joins the stomach. It opens and closes with normal swallowing, but provides enough pressure to prevent acid-reflux,” said Dr. Buckley.
A study published in the February issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 93 percent of patients that underwent the LINX procedure reported a significant decrease in the need for medication with 100 percent reporting the elimination of severe regurgitation.
“This new advancement revolutionizes the surgical treatment of reflux disease,” said Dr. Buckley. “I believe that we will improve the overall quality of life for our patients suffering from GERD through this less invasive surgical option.”
For more information on the Heartburn and Acid Reflux Center at Scott & White – Round Rock, please visit heartburn.sw.org or call 512-509-GERD. The HARC has a unique comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach for the diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux, combining skilled physicians and the latest technology to provide effective solutions for the patient.