When food goes from your esophagus into your stomach, it passes through a valve called your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES opens to allow food to enter your stomach and closes to prevent food and acid from flowing back into your esophagus.
Various conditions can lead to failure in this part of your digestive system, such as:
- Eating large meals that push food upward
- Lying down after a meal
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Being overweight or pregnant
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
- Gastritis, stomach ulcers, or hiatal hernias
However, if acid flows from your stomach to your esophagus regularly due to a weak LES, treatments shift from medications and lifestyle changes to surgical repairs.
Whatever is causing your gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, Dr. Nirav Naik at New Life Medical can diagnose and treat the problem. Dr. Naik is a leading board-certified surgeon in Bakersfield, California, with nearly three decades of experience.
He also specializes in the revolutionary LINX™ procedure, a permanent solution for people who have chronic GERD that doesn’t respond to traditional treatments. Here’s how to tell if you might be a good candidate.
How LINX works
Your LES is a critical player in your digestive system. When it fails, acid flows upward into your esophagus. At best, you experience frequent heartburn; at worst, the acid damages your esophageal lining, putting you at risk for Barrett’s esophagus and cancer.
LINX is a flexible, expanding-contracting ring of magnetic beads that Dr. Naik places over your LES. The beads open when you swallow and close after the food has passed through, just like your LES.
The best part about LINX is that it doesn’t require alterations to your stomach as the traditional surgical treatment does. Dr. Naik can place the LINX device using minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, which stays in place permanently.
Good candidates for the LINX procedure
Dr. Naik recommends conservative treatments before surgery, but if you’ve exhausted your options and nothing seems to help, you may be a good candidate for the LINX procedure. Here are the general guidelines we use.
You’re eligible for LINX if:
- You’re at least 21
- You’ve tried medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), without seeing an improvement
- Medications work for you, but you don’t want to take them anymore
You’re not eligible or LINX if:
- You’re severely overweight (BMI ≥ 35)
- You have a hiatal hernia larger than 2 cm
- You have trouble swallowing
- You have a pacemaker
- You’ve already undergone acid reflux surgery
- You have Barrett’s esophagus and dysplasia
Note: While a hiatal hernia typically disqualifies you for the LINX procedure, Dr. Naik can repair your hernia at the same time he performs the LINX procedure.
Life after LINX
Studies show that LINX is effective for most people, and the results last a long time. After five years:
- 88% had no more heartburn
- 99% had no regurgitation
- 85% no longer needed PPI medication
The LINX procedure is safe, fast, and effective. To find out if you’re a good candidate, contact New Life Medical at 661-230-7344.