Gastroesophageal, commonly known as heartburn, occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. Some people experience mild acid reflux more frequently than others and may have severe symptoms, including laryngitis and disrupted sleep. If you do not find relief with antacids, your specialist may recommend the LINX procedure in Dallas, which uses magnetic attraction to close the junction of your stomach and esophagus. It is a procedure that has gained popularity because of its efficacy and advantages, such as same-day discharge and faster recovery. Here is more information about the LINX procedure.
How does LINX work?
The LINX device is a series of beads made of titanium metal, and they are joined with titanium to form a circular shape. It is placed at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach as a remedy for acid reflux patients who do not find relief with medical therapy. The pressure from swallowing causes the magnetic beads to move apart and allows food into the stomach. Once the food or liquid is inside the stomach, the magnetic force increases and pulls the beads together, restricting the flow of stomach contents into the esophagus.
What are the potential complications?
LINX procedure preserves or maintains the physiological functions of your stomach, and therefore, there are fewer chances of developing complications. However, like any other surgical procedure, patients can react to anesthesia and are also at risk of bleeding and developing an infection. Device erosion is also a possible problem, and in such cases, the surgeon removes it through a keyhole surgical procedure. Fortunately, initial consultation with your specialist can help you reduce your risks of such problems. A review of your medical history gives your doctor insight into the type of anesthesia suitable for you.
Side effects such as post-operative pain, difficulty swallowing, and bloating of the stomach are expected after the LINX procedure, but they tend to improve with time.
What is recovery like after surgery?
Since this procedure is less invasive than surgeries like fundoplication, patients get to go home the same day after treatment. The process does not interfere with diet, as you can resume your usual diet a few hours after surgery and resume normal activities after a week or less. The following are post-operative instructions that your specialist may require you to observe.
- Do not bathe or engage in activities such as swimming. It is safe when water and soap run through but pat dry with a soft cloth and avoid scrubbing.
- Do not apply any creams, lotions, or ointments on the surgical site.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects as the pressure may cause the sutures to rupture. Everyday activities like walking and climbing the staircase are okay. However, always listen to your body and do not overdo it.
- Keep your body well hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, preferably warm, because cold beverages can result in painful esophageal spasms.
Chronic acid reflux disrupts your sleep and may interfere with your choice of foods. If you have constant heartburn that does not get better despite taking medicines, schedule a session with your doctor at Michael Sutker, MD, to establish whether you are a good candidate for LINX surgery.