Learn more about LINX at King Edward VII’s Hospital
Why would I need the LINX procedure?
LINX is for you if you’ve been diagnosed with GERD and are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy.
What symptoms does LINX address?
LINX has been shown to relieve symptoms related to reflux disease, including:
- Sore throat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
When should you speak to your specialist about LINX?
If you are suffering from any of the above conditions or symptoms, you might consider talking to your specialist about the possibility of undergoing the LINX procedure.
How is LINX performed?
LINX is implanted during a minimally invasive procedure that is generally completed in less than one hour.
A flexible ring of small magnets is placed around the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), right above the opening to the stomach.
The magnets help to prevent the LOS opening when it shouldn’t and thus stops harmful stomach acid from flowing back up into the oesophagus, where it can cause painful heartburn and longer term damage, for example Barrett’s Oesophagus. When you eat or drink, the forces from swallowing cause the magnets to separate, the LINX device to expand, and food or liquid then passes comfortably into the stomach.
What is the recovery for LINX?
You would normally go home on the day of your surgery, and return to normal activities in just a few days. And, best of all, you can resume a normal diet almost immediately after your operation. This is one of the main attractions of LINX compared to the traditional fundoplication procedure.
Are there any risks/complications associated with LINX?
As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your specialist or surgeon about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.
General complications associated with laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery include (but are not limited to):
- Anaesthetic reaction
- Pulmonary embolus (PE) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Visceral/vascular injury
Complications specific to LINX surgery include (but are not limited to):
- Persistent dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- Erosion/migration of the LINX device
- Chest pain
- Vagal nerve injury
Side effects of LINX reflux surgery might include: shoulder pain, delayed gastric emptying causing nausea/vomiting, chest discomfort/pain on swallowing.
How can I prepare for LINX?
Prior to LINX, discuss the preparations you should make with your surgeon, as several could be suggested and they vary depending on the person.
Common preparations for LINX include:
- Not consuming food or water for a certain period of time prior to the procedure
- Abstaining from smoking for at least two weeks before the day of the procedure
Are there alternatives to LINX?
Not everyone who experiences GERD should necessarily have the LINX procedure. You should talk to your specialist to see if there are alternatives to LINX that might work for you. Some alternatives include making lifestyle changes, taking medication or undergoing other surgeries, such as fundoplication surgery.