Plano Now offering Revolutionary New treatment for Chronic Acid Refluxhttp://themedicalcenterofplano.com/
February 25, 2013
The hospital is the first in North Texas to implant the new FDA-approved LINX® system
The Medical Center of Plano has become the first hospital in North Texas to offer the new FDA-approved LINX® Reflux Management System, a revolutionary new treatment option for people with chronic heartburn, otherwise known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
One in five adults in the United States suffer from GERD, which is caused by a weak muscle in the esophagus called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) that allows acid and bile to splash up from the stomach into the esophagus. This often causes injury to the lining of the esophagus and produces symptoms that include chest pain, regurgitation, sore throat, cough, an inability to sleep, and dietary constraints.
The LINX® Reflux Management System, created and funded by Shoreview, Minnesota-based Torax Medical, is a new approach to treating GERD as it supports the LES with a small implant consisting of a flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The magnetic attraction among the beads helps keep the LES closed, preventing reflux. The LINX system is implanted around the weak sphincter, just above the stomach, in a minimally invasive procedure that typically takes less than one hour to perform.
Currently, two surgical oncologists at The Medical Center of Plano – David Smith, M.D., and Thomas LeVoyer, M.D. – are the only physicians in North Texas trained to implant the LINX system. Their first LINX patient is scheduled for mid-March.
“Our hospital is proud to serve as a unique resource within the community by offering this new treatment for a disease that not only produces life-long debilitating symptoms for many people, but that also has created a tremendous economic burden on the nation’s healthcare system,” said Troy A. Villarreal, FACHE, chief executive officer of The Medical Center of Plano.
“This is also another instance of medical center’s leadership in the employment of minimally invasive techniques that allow patients to resume normal schedules within days, instead of weeks or even months,” Villarreal added.
GERD is a chronic, often progressive disease that can lead to a pre-cancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. A study published in 2010 found that adenocarcinoma, a type of esophageal cancer, increased more than six fold between 1973 and 2006.
Acid-suppression medications such as Prevacid®, Nexium®, and Prilosec® affect the production of gastric acid, but do not repair the sphincter defect, and therefore allow acid reflux to continue. Reflux symptoms persist in up to 40 percent of patients who receive acid-suppression drugs.
The safety and effectiveness of the LINX system is the subject of a study published in the February 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study reports that, after sphincter augmentation with the LINX system, the majority of patients were able to substantially reduce or resolve their reflux symptoms, while eliminating use of their reflux medications.
Severe regurgitation was eliminated in 100 percent of patients, and nearly all patients (93 percent) reported a significant decrease in the need for medication. More than nine in 10 patients (94 percent) reported satisfaction with their overall condition after implantation of the LINX system, compared to just 13 percent prior to undergoing the LINX procedure.