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LINX Procedure

New Life Medical & Aesthetics

Bariatric Surgeon & Aesthetics located in Bakersfield, CA

If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or another condition that causes severe indigestion and heartburn, you may have a weakness in your esophageal sphincter. Nirav Naik, MD, FACS and the team at New Life Medical & Aesthetics in Bakersfield, California, provide LINX procedures to strengthen and support the opening between your esophagus and stomach to reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Call New Life Medical & Aesthetics or make an appointment online today to learn more.

LINX Procedure Q & A

What is a LINX procedure?

A LINX procedure is the surgical implantation of a small ring of magnetic beads to support your lower esophageal sphincter. It’s an alternative treatment to Nissen fundoplication procedure, during which Dr. Naik wraps part of your stomach muscle around your lower esophagus.

The LINX device can stay in place for a lifetime, improving the function of your lower esophageal sphincter. When you swallow, your muscles push the ring open to allow food to pass into your stomach. The ring will also expand if you need to burp or vomit.

Whenever possible, Dr. Naik uses minimally invasive laparoscopic surgical techniques to perform LINX procedures. Laparoscopic surgery reduces your blood loss and lowers your risk of scarring and infection, as it only requires a few small incision in your abdomen.

Why would I need a LINX procedure?

Dr. Naik uses the LINX procedure to reduce indigestion and heartburn caused by GERD. Dr. Naik often combines the LINX procedure with a surgical repair of a hiatal hernia, which can contribute to heartburn issues.

GERD and acid reflux are painful conditions that occur when weakness in your lower esophageal sphincter allows stomach acid to travel up your esophagus. In addition to causing painful and disruptive symptoms, acid reflux can damage the lining of your esophagus and lead to conditions like Barrett’s esophagus and cancer.  

What happens during a LINX procedure?

A LINX procedure is performed while you’re under general sedation. Dr. Naik makes a few small incisions in your abdomen and inserts the laparoscopic surgical instruments. If your condition is due to a hiatal hernia, he repairs your hernia before placing the LINX device around your esophagus, close to where it meets your stomach.

In many cases, you can go home on the same day as your surgery. Dr. Naik will give you personalized post-operative care instructions, but in most cases, you should get up and walk around frequently throughout the day and can return to your regular eating habits as soon as it feels comfortable.

Every surgery or procedure poses a potential risk to your health, life, and well-being. Dr. Naik does everything he can to reduce the risks associated with your procedure. He also explains all the benefits and risk of your treatment and will answer your questions thoroughly to help you make the best decision about medical and surgical treatments for your health and wellness.

If you’re living with GERD or other acid reflux issues, call New Life Medical & Aesthetics or schedule a consultation online today.


Heartburn Surgery

Heartburn is a condition that has been increasing in frequency for the last 20 years. Heartburn is almost always caused by reflux of gastric acid or contents into the esophagus, leading to irritation pain and regurgitation. Recent research has shown that almost all people who have reflux disease and heartburn will have a hiatal hernia.

Treating for the symptoms is usually fairly well-controlled with antacid medication including calcium medications and medication such as Zantac Tagamet, Prevacid and Nexium.

Though these medications control the symptoms they do not control the root cause of heartburn which is usually a hiatal hernia and dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter. Reflux can cause damage to lower esophagus with conditions such as esophagitis, esophagile ulcers and ultimately Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is an abnormal condition in which the esophagus begins to change to protect itself from the acid and refluxed contents. These changes can lead to pre-cancerous and ultimately cancerous changes and lead to esophageal cancer. This may continue despite taking medication and no longer having symptoms

The medications are used to control the symptoms have been around for sometime and are effective for controlling the symptoms; however, these medications were not meant to be used for long-term use.

They were initially indicated for only six weeks of use for fear of causing tumors in the Nuro endocrine system of the G.I. tract; however, it is not uncommon to see people who have been on these medications for over 20 years. They are effective in controlling the heartburn symptoms; however, they are not effective at all at controlling regurgitation symptoms. Ongoing reflux and regurgitation may lead to reflux of nonacidic contents into the lungs and lead to chronic bronchitis, asthma and recurrent pneumonias. In addition, these medications known as proton pump inhibitor‘s and H2 antagonists, have been increasingly linked to potential long-term problems such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and possibly even a link to celiac disease and changes in normal gut flora. The point is heartburn and reflux symptoms are not related to an overproduction of acid in general, but they are related to the acid not staying where it is supposed to remain, as in in the stomach. Medical treatments serve to treat the symptoms; however, they do not treat the problem. As with other anatomic problems such as hernias the treatment is to fix the hernia and the anatomic problem, not to just treat the symptoms.

Surgery to repair hiatal hernias in control reflux or the last 30 years has been fraught with complications and sub optimal results. Most people over the years have suffered from recurrence of the Hiatal hernia and difficulty with being able to burp or vomit if needed (gas/bloat syndrome)

Many changes have occurred in the last few years to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of failure for these operations and improve patient outcomes and results. This includes thorough repair of the hiatal hernia which almost all reflux patients have as well as control of the reflux through wrapping the stomach (which is the older treatment) and now the placement of a device to help control reflux from the lower esophageal sphincter.

The latter is an explanation of the LINX procedure. Surgery to control heartburn involves several steps, the most important of which is repairing and thoroughly closing the hiatal hernia defect.

The second part is increasing the ability of the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux which is performed by either wrapping stomach around itself to create a new valve or placing a magnetic cincture augmentation device (LINX procedure).

With the added knowledge that we have accrued over the last few years and with the addition of the links procedure results have improved and patient outcomes have been far more acceptable compared to previous procedures. I have taken on special training to further my ability to provide unsurpassed service to our community to repair the Hiatal hernia in a more effective manner and now be able to provide the links procedure to minimize the surgical complications associated with anti-reflux surgery.

As one of the first surgeons in California to be trained to perform the links procedure I am confident that this procedure can provide permanent or long-lasting results for the growing number of patients who suffer from reflux disease

For more information please refer to our YouTube videos and please call the office for a consultation.