Frequently Asked Questions about the LINX Reflux Management System
UW Health surgeons may implant the LINX® Reflux Management System as a surgical option to prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease.
What is the LINX® Reflux Management System?
The LINX® system is a small ring made of interlinked titanium beads that surgeons implant using a minimally-invasive, laparoscopic technique. After implantation, the LINX® system's magnetic beads constrict to bolster the existing structure of the esophagus and prevent gastroesophageal reflux. But the LINX® system does not inhibit eating. The magnetic beads relax during swallowing, allowing food to pass through the esophagus to the stomach. The system also allows a patient to belch or vomit, if needed.
For whom is the LINX® Reflux Management System intended?
How long does surgery take?
Usually about one hour.
Will I notice the device after it has been implanted?
Some patients have reported sensations in the esophagus after surgery, which could be the device or the aftermath of the surgery. The sensation has disappeared over time.
Will I be able to eat as I normally do after surgery?
Patients are encouraged to return to a normal diet as quickly as they can.
How long will it take before I can return to my normal activities?
Patients can often return to non-strenuous activities a few days after surgery.
Does the LINX® Reflux Management System work?
The Food and Drug Administration conducted a clinical trial with the LINX® system and reported the following results:
- Before implant, all patients required daily proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). After implant, 8 percent did.
- Before implant, 70 percent of patients endured reflux that affected their sleep daily. After implant, 2 percent did.
- Before implant, 76 percent of patients had reflux affecting food tolerances. After implant, 2 percent did.
- Before implant, 55 percent of patients had severe heartburn affecting daily life. After implant, 1 percent did.
What else should I know about the LINX® Reflux Management System?
- Patients who have the system implanted should not undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI procedures are not safe for LINX® patients.
- The LINX® system is designed for life-long use. All of the equipment LINX® uses is designed so it does not wear out over time.