By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new treatment is now available locally for acid reflux. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more.
Jeff Pugh is finally able to eat his favorite meals, without suffering.
“I felt honestly like there was a knife that was going through right around my stomach area,” said Jeff. The Montgomery County man barely had enough energy to play with his son because his severe acid reflux caused heartburn and night time coughing, that kept him awake.
“This whole acid reflux really, really affected my sleep which affects everything in your life,” said Jeff.
For Hannah Grubow it happened right after she ate.
“Just coughing and gagging constantly,” said Hannah.
Thirty million Americans have acid reflux. It happens when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. Traditionally it’s treated with medications like Prilosec and Nexium.
“Nothing really worked,” said Hannah.
When diet changes and medications don’t work, surgery was the only alternative until now.
“It’s a fantastic procedure, a great technology, a big advance in what we’ve had in the past,” said Dr. Ramsey Dallal, with Einstein Healthcare Network. It’s the first in Philadelphia to offer a new treatment for acid reflux called the LINX. It’s a tiny magnetic ring on a flexible band.
“It pops open so you put it inside the abdomen like this. It’s such a simple idea of magnets on a string,” said Dr. Dallal.
The LINX, when in place around the esophagus, opens to allow food into the stomach and closes to prevent reflux.
“People are like wow that’s so simple, and it makes sense,” said Dr. Dallal. He says the LINX is surgically placed laparoscopically with general anesthesia. There are some risks, like infection, but Jeff says the outpatient procedure was a breeze.
“It has cured me. I mean it’s unbelievable. It’s something that seems so simple, but it really. It works amazingly,” said Jeff.
Ninety-three percent of patients who get the LINX no longer had to take any heartburn medicine, according to one study.
Hannah says she got her life back.
“When I lay down to go to bed, I don’t have a coughing fit every night,” said Hannah.
The LINX, which can be removed, is FDA approved, and is covered by some insurance.
For more information, visit the links below:
Einstein Healthcare Network LINX Information- http://www.einstein.edu/digestive/linx/
LINX Information- http://www.linxforlife.com/