Michael Sutker, MD
Bariatric, General & Laparoscopic Surgeon located in Dallas, TX & McKinney, TX
About 40% of patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, continue to experience heartburn despite taking medication. If you're one of them, Michael Sutker, MD, may be able to relieve your symptoms using the LINX® Reflux Management System, a device that replaces the faulty sphincter in your esophagus causing your discomfort. At the offices in Dallas and McKinney, Texas, Dr. Sutker can use the LINX procedure to resolve your GERD and eliminate your dependence on medication. If you’re in pain, call the office of Michael Sutker, MD, PA, nearest you today or book an appointment online.
LINX procedure Q&A
What is LINX?
LINX is a device Dr. Sutker uses to treat GERD, a condition that causes stomach acid to enter your esophagus (acid reflux), resulting in heartburn and other unpleasant symptoms.
Typical initial treatment for GERD includes medications that reduce stomach acid production, but they can't stop the reflux from happening. The reason for this is that medications don't address the cause of GERD, which is a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES) at the bottom of your esophagus.
The LINX device is around the size of a quarter. It takes the place of your failing LES, preventing stomach acid from entering your esophagus.
How does LINX work?
The LINX device consists of a small, flexible band of magnets encased in titanium beads connected by titanium wires.
Dr. Sutker implants LINX around the weak LES, just above your stomach. The magnetic attraction between the titanium beads keeps your dysfunctional esophageal sphincter closed, which helps prevent reflux.
When you swallow, it forces the ring of beads to expand temporarily and allow food and drink to pass into your stomach, just as a natural LES should.
Dr. Sutker implants the LINX device using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, with the procedure typically taking less than an hour. The design of your LINX device means it starts working the moment Dr. Sutker completes the implantation procedure.
How long does it take to recover from a LINX procedure?
You should be able to go home within a day of your LINX implantation procedure and return to a regular diet very quickly. You can also get back to performing non-strenuous activities within a couple of days.
Unlike other procedures for treating GERD, LINX goes around the outside of your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), requiring no alteration to your stomach. That means you need far less recovery time than you would after a procedure like Nissen fundoplication.
LINX also preserves all your normal physiological functions, so you can belch or vomit when necessary.
Patients who've undergone LINX implantation have provided very positive feedback on their experience:
- 99% reported an end to bothersome regurgitation
- 88% reported they no longer experience heartburn
- 85% say they no longer needed to take daily reflux medication
The LINX device doesn't affect airport security, and it's safe to have an MRI scan should you need one. The magnets and titanium used in LINX's construction mean the implant is so long-lasting that you should benefit from a lifetime of relief from GERD.
To find out more about LINX, call the Michael Sutker, MD, PA, office nearest you today or book an appointment online.
Anti-Reflux Surgery in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Heartburn or acid reflux is a significant problem for many people and can cause a significant decrease in your quality of life. Reflux may be caused be weakening of the valve at the top of the stomach or from a hiatal hernia. While many patient’s symptoms can be controlled with medications such as Ranitidine or Omeprazole, surgery may be indicated to permanently correct the problem. Pre-operative planning typically involves evaluation by a gastroenterologist. Testing may include pH studies to measure the amount of acid in the esophagus, manometry to measure the function of the esophagus, swallow studies to evaluate for a hiatal hernia, and an upper endoscopy (EGD) to evaluate for inflammation of the stomach and esophagus.
Anti-reflux surgery involves creating a new valve at the top of the stomach to prevent the reflux of acid into the esophagus. There are three types of operations designed to prevent reflux. The traditional method is a fundoplication. Other options for anti-reflux surgery include placement of a Linx device or a gastric bypass for patients with obesity. Each of the surgeries has pros and cons, risks and benefits, and Dr. Sutker will help you determine the best option for you.
Patients will expect to stay in the hospital 1-2 nights. Patients stay on a pureed or soft food diet for about 2-4 weeks to allow the inflammation from the surgery to subside. Once recovery is complete, you will be able to a normal diet without restriction.
LINX® Reflux Management System
Medications for GERD do not reduce reflux. They merely reduce the acidity of the reflux. Since they do not address the cause of GERD which is a weak sphincter muscle, they can’t prevent reflux. Approximately 40% of GERD sufferers continue to have symptoms while taking medications for heartburn. LINX® is a revolutionary solution for GERD proven to eliminate dependence on medication and improve quality of life. The beauty of this quarter-sized device is it does exactly what your failing LES (lower esophageal sphincter) is supposed to do — prevent stomach acid from entering your esophagus.
How Does it Work?
LINX® is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads connected by Titanium wires. LINX® is implanted around the weak esophageal sphincter, just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads keeps the weak esophageal sphincter closed to help prevent reflux. Swallowing forces the ring of beads to temporarily expand to allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach. LINX® is implanted laparoscopically in a minimally invasive procedure that typically takes less than one hour. Patients generally go home within one day and are encouraged to return to a regular diet as soon as tolerated as directed by their physician.
LINX® is designed to start working the moment the device is implanted. Patients are usually able to return to non-strenuous activity within a couple of days. Unlike other procedures to treat reflux, LINX® is inserted around the outside of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and requires no alteration to the stomach. LINX® preserves normal physiological function, so you can belch or vomit as needed. The titanium beads open and close to let food down during meals and open and close to let food up if the need to vomit arises. 99% of patients report that bothersome regurgitation was eliminated after treatment with LINX®. 88% of LINX® patients also reported that heartburn had been eliminated after treatment, and 85 % of patients were free from dependence on daily reflux medication. The device will not affect airport security, and you can still have an MRI. LINX® is constructed with permanent magnets and titanium which means that LINX® is designed for a lifetime of relief.
For more information, visit www.linxforlife.com.
Nissen Fundoplication Anti-Reflux Surgery
Nissen fundoplication anti-reflux surgery involves creating a new valve at the top of the stomach to prevent the reflux of acid into the esophagus. Your surgeon accomplishes this new valve by wrapping the excess portion of the stomach around itself. This surgery will allow food to pass through the esophagus in the stomach but prevent acids from going up. Patients will expect to get significant relief immediately, and most patients can stop their anti-reflux medication. This procedure can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, either with traditional laparoscopy or with daVinci robotic assistance.
Patients will expect to stay in the hospital 1-2 nights. Patients remain on a liquid diet for 2 weeks and then a pureed or soft food diet for about 2-4 weeks to allow the inflammation from the surgery to subside. Once recovery is complete, you will be able to a normal diet without restriction.