LINX Implant

Acid reflux (GERD) is caused by the acid in your stomach backing up into your esophagus, or what is commonly referred to as heartburn. Symptoms of GERD can range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating and include:

  • A burning sensation in the chest or throat
  • An acid/bitter taste in the throat or mouth
  • Stomach or chest pains
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Otherwise unexplained sore throats
  • Coughing

Chronic acid reflux can lead to potentially serious complications if left untreated, including esophageal cancer and a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which caused the normal esophageal tissue to change and toughen, leading to difficulty swallowing.

Until now, options to treat chronic acid reflux ranged from dietary changes and medicines to control reflux to a surgery called “fundoplication”, which works to prevent acid from backing into the esophagus.

With the LINX implant, patients have the option of treating chronic acid reflux with a minimally invasive surgical device that vastly reduces dependence on daily medication to control symptoms of acid reflux.

What is the LINX implant?

  • LINX is a flexible ring of small magnets about the size of a quarter that is placed around the esophagus just above the stomach to help prevent reflux.
  • The strength of the magnets helps keep the valve between your stomach and esophagus closed to prevent reflux. When you swallow, the magnets separate temporarily to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach.
  • LINX is placed around the esophagus just above the stomach during minimally invasive surgery. The surgery lasts about an hour and many patients are able to go home the same day.
  • Side effects of the LINX implant are minimal and include discomfort and difficulty swallowing for a few days post-surgery

Benefits of the LINX implant

  • 85% of patients no longer have to take daily medication for acid reflux
  • 99% of patients no longer experience regurgitation (food coming back up the throat)
  • Heartburn is significantly reduced for 89% of patients
  • Patients can resume a normal diet within one day of having the procedure
  • Lifelong implant, but can be easily removed if needed
  • Normal activity can resume within a few days post-surgery
  • Does not surgically alter the stomach or the esophagus

Determining if LINX is right for you:

Before undergoing the LINX procedure, your doctor will perform a series of three diagnostic tests to see if the LINX implant is right for you. Depending on your test results, the doctor will determine if LINX will be appropriate for your condition.

OU Physicians Offering LINX:

Dr. Matthew Reinersman is a board certified thoracic surgeon with OU Physicians. He is trained in the LINX implant device in addition to providing clinical excellence in all areas of thoracic (chest) surgery.