Stomach acid can flow back into your esophagus, leading to gastroesophageal reflux disease, which irritates the lining of your esophagus. Patients with this condition suffer from heartburn and other serious health effects like difficulty in swallowing. Michael Sutker, MD, performs the linx procedure in Dallas to help relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms.
A sneak preview on gastroesophageal reflux disease
Swallowing involves relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter to allow passage of food and liquid into your stomach. The weakening of the sphincter can cause abnormal relaxation causing stomach acid to flow up into your esophagus. Frequent acid reflux causes gastroesophageal disease.
Complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Difficulty in swallowing due to chronic inflammation in your esophagus, leading to scar tissue formation and narrowing of the food pathway.
- Esophageal ulcer: Stomach acid corrodes esophageal tissue leading to the formation of an open sore. This open sore is what is known as an esophageal ulcer. Esophageal ulcers usually bleed and are painful.
- Esophageal cancer: Damage due to stomach acid can alter esophageal tissue making patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease prone to developing esophageal cancer.
Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease
Over-the-counter medications, which reduce stomach acid production and healthy lifestyle changes, are usually effective in managing gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. However, depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be necessary.
Michael Sucker, MD, usually performs minimally invasive surgery on gastroesophageal disease patients using the LINX procedure.
What to expect during a LINX procedure
The LINX procedure usually involves the use of a LINX device. The device comprises titanium beads with a magnet band and is connected with titanium wires forming a ring shape.
During the procedure, your health care provider will implant the LINX device just above your stomach in the lower esophageal sphincter. This procedure usually takes less than an hour and involves the use of minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques.
The device helps to strengthen the muscle preventing stomach acid from flowing backward into your esophagus. The LINX device begins working immediately after the completion of the implantation procedure. The ring of beads usually expands temporarily during swallowing and, therefore, does not hinder regular liquid and food passage into your stomach. The LINX implantation procedure also does not hinder other physiological functions like vomiting, yawning, or belching.
Recovering from a LINX procedure
After the procedure, you will be discharged within a day. Your health care provider will recommend avoiding strenuous activities for a couple of days and sticking to soft foods. It is important to chew food thoroughly before swallowing to ensure optimal healing.
Recovery following a LINX implantation procedure is relatively fast. You will resume your regular diet and activities within two weeks.
Results of a LINX implantation procedure
The LINX procedure is a safe and effective way of treating the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. You will notice no pain or difficulty when swallowing, no heartburn, and no need to continue taking daily gastroesophageal reflux medication.
To get long-lasting relief from gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms, contact Michal Sutker, MD, to schedule your appointment for a LINX implantation procedure.