Doctors at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center are using a minimally invasive procedure to implant a device to improve the quality of life for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The LINX reflux management system treats GERD with a small band of magnetic titanium beads placed around the lower esophagus designed to restore the body’s natural reflux barrier.
GERD is a chronic digestive disorder in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus. It can cause painful symptoms such as burning in the chest, abdominal pain, bloating, and difficulty swallowing. LINX keeps stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus – yet it is designed so swallowing will break the magnetic bond and allow food and liquid to pass into the stomach normally.
“One in five adults in the United States have GERD, and it can have a significant impact on quality of life,” said Dr. Margaret Riccardi, a minimally invasive surgeon at St. Joseph Medical Center. “We are pleased to be able to offer our patients this innovative treatment.”
LINX may be a good option for patients who don’t find relief from their symptoms from lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications or are experiencing complications from the disease. Patients interested in learning more can call 610-378-7900 to schedule an appointment.
A 204-bed acute care hospital, Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center, serves the Berks region with outpatient and inpatient diagnostic, medical, and surgical services on its Bern Township campus. Founded in 1873 by the Sisters of St. Francis, St. Joseph Medical Center has earned national accreditations for its centers of excellence in the treatment of chest pain, stroke, heart failure, and cancer. St. Joseph Medical Center joined Penn State Health in 2015.