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ETHICON ENDO-SURGERY

Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson group of companies, develops, manufactures, and mark... read more Featured Products: More products

Magnetic Bracelet Device Effectively Manages Reflux

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Oct 2018
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Image: A magnetic bracelet battles reflux disease (Photo courtesy of Ethicon Endo-Surgery).
Image: A magnetic bracelet battles reflux disease (Photo courtesy of Ethicon Endo-Surgery).
A bracelet made of miniature magnetic beads helps relieve symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and improves patient’s quality of life (QOL).

A product of Ethicon Endo-Surgery (Ethicon, Cincinnati, OH, USA), the LINX Reflux Management System is made of a series of titanium beads, each with its own magnetic core, connected together with independent titanium wires so as to form a ring-shaped magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) device. The device is implanted during a laparoscopic procedure and wrapped around the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The magnetic forces between the beads help keep a weakened LES closed, preventing a reversed flow of stomach contents.

When eating, the magnetic force between the beads is overcome by the high pressures formed by the body’s swallowing forces, and the device expands to accommodate ingestion of food or liquid. Once the food passes though the LES, the device returns to its resting state. The reversible LINX MSA device can thus provide a simple and effective treatment option for GERD, preserving gastric anatomy, establishing normal physiological function, and relieving patients of dependence on medication.

In a new study comparing the LINX device to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs; the standard of medical care for GERD treatment), 89% of LINX patients achieved relief from moderate to severe regurgitation, compared to 10% of those treated with twice-daily omeprazole; 81% had an improved QOL, compared to 8% of the omeprazole patients; and 81% of LINX patients reported satisfaction with their current condition, versus just two percent of patients treated with twice-daily omeprazole.

“Patients experiencing regurgitation, despite proton-pump inhibitor therapy, actually did extremely well with an anti-reflux procedure, magnetic sphincter augmentation, using the LINX device,” said study co-author gastrointestinal surgeon Reginald Bell, MD, of the Institute of Esophageal and Reflux Surgery (Englewood, CO, USA). “When the physiology of GERD is recognized – that it is due to a mechanical defect in the sphincter – it makes sense that patients would indeed respond to the procedure.”

In GERD patients, the esophageal sphincter is weakened and does not close tightly, allowing digestive juices to return and irritate the esophageal lining. Treatment options include lifestyle changes and medications, such as over-the-counter antacids, PPIs, and a surgical fundoplication, in which the excess stomach tissue is folded around the esophagus and sewn in place to strengthen the LES.


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