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Beyond Heartburn: How to Finally Get Rid of GERD

May 01, 2019

By Dr. Ken Schwartz
General Surgeon, MidState Medical Center

While occurrences are rare, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can lead to cancer.

With April marking Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, it is a good time to discuss GERD, which is a common disease with potentially serious repercussions.

So what is GERD? How do you know you have it and how can you treat it? At MidState Medical Center in Meriden, our team of expert physicians are highly trained in the treatment of GERD.

GERD is a chronic, often progressive disease that presents itself with symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation. A sphincter in the esophagus prevents the passage of acid and bile from the stomach into the esophagus. People who suffer from GERD have a weak lower esophageal sphincter, which results in acid and bile making its way into the esophagus, causing heartburn and discomfort.

If over-the-counter or prescription medications haven’t led to relief of GERD and other treatments have failed as well, there is an alternative treatment that is highly successful in restoring patient comfort.

The LINX Reflux Management System strengthens the sphincter and makes it possible for the body to provide a natural barrier to the acid. It consists of a small ring of magnetic titanium beads that wraps around the connection between your stomach and esophagus. The ring opens when you swallow, allowing liquids and food to pass normally into your stomach. It closes again quickly, preventing acid and bile from entering the esophagus.

LINX system insertion is minimally invasive and uses a common surgical technique called laparoscopy. The procedure usually lasts less than an hour, with patients returning home the day of surgery. Most patients can resume their normal eating habits immediately.

The benefits of the LINX system are the real success story. Patients discontinue daily reflux medications immediately. Most patients report that heartburn no longer impacts their sleep at night. An overwhelming majority are satisfied with the results of the LINX insertion.

And, perhaps most importantly, it reduces the chances of a much more serious disease like esophageal cancer.

Dr. Ken Schwartz is a board-certified general surgeon at Hartford HealthCare Medical at MidState Medical Center in Meriden. Formally trained in minimally invasive techniques, Dr. Schwartz is an acid reflux specialist with expertise in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and LINX Reflux Management. To learn more, click here.