“My life has been changed. There is no question this procedure was the right fix for me,” says Betheny Moseley of Buxton, Maine, who had severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for more than five years. “I’m a cancer survivor, and the treatment I was receiving increased my risk for osteoporosis, as does the medication for the treatment of my GERD. This was worrisome for me and I wanted to get off the GERD meds, but my symptoms were so bad I couldn’t fathom it.”
Moseley connected with David Rattner, MD, chief of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery at the MGH Digestive Healthcare Center, and on Oct. 9, 2012 became the MGH’s first patient to receive a new, FDA-approved procedure called the LINX® Reflux Management System. The MGH was the first hospital in New England to offer this procedure, in which a flexible bracelet of magnetic titanium beads is laparoscopically implanted around the esophagus.
“GERD is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes either too often and for too long allowing acid from the stomach to reflux back into the esophagus,” explains Rattner. “When the magnetic bracelet is in place, it augments or strengthens a weak lower esophageal sphincter – the muscle that opens and closes to allow food to enter and stay in the stomach.”
“I have had zero GERD symptoms since the surgery,” says Moseley. “I’m off of all the GERD medications, I don’t get the painful indigestion, and I can eat what I want, when I want. The procedure has made a huge impact on my life.”
Rattner says that while effective, this procedure is not for everyone. “The LINX® procedure is reversible; it’s simpler to perform and it may avoid some of the side effects associated with other traditional anti-reflux operations. However, full evaluation is still needed to determine if someone is a candidate for this procedure, and long-term data are now being obtained.”
To learn more about this procedure or to make an appointment, call 617-726-1893 or request an appointment online.
Read more articles from the 01/11/13 Hotline issue.