CSSMCW First in the Region to Perform Revolutionary New Treatment for Chronic Acid Reflux

Posted: 11/1/2016
General and Bariatric Surgeon and Bariatric Program Director for Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber (CSSMCW) Taesun Moon, DO, FACOS, FASMBS is the first physician in the region to offer the new FDA-approved LINX Reflux Management System, a new treatment option for people with chronic heartburn, otherwise known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

The first two patients to have the device implanted successfully underwent surgery on Friday, September 30. Although this procedure has been offered at CSSMCW since mid-2015, these are the first two patients to complete the clinical workup and insurance approval process.

One in five adults in the United States suffer from GERD, which is caused by a weak muscle in the esophagus called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) that allows acid and bile to splash up from the stomach into the esophagus. This often causes injury to the lining of the esophagus and produces symptoms that include chest pain, regurgitation, sore throat, cough, an inability to sleep, and dietary constraints. GERD is a chronic, often progressive disease that can lead to a pre-cancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. A study published in 2010 found that adenocarcinoma, a type of esophageal cancer, increased more than six fold between 1973 and 2006. Acid-suppression medications such as Prevacid®, Nexium®, and Prilosec® affect the production of gastric acid, but do not repair the sphincter defect, and therefore allow acid reflux to continue. Reflux symptoms persist in up to 40 percent of patients who receive acid-suppression drugs.

The LINX® Reflux Management System, created and funded by Shoreview, Minnesota-based Torax Medical, is a new approach to treating GERD as it supports the LES with a small implant consisting of a flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The magnetic attraction among the beads helps keep the LES closed, preventing reflux. The LINX system is implanted around the weak sphincter, just above the stomach, in a minimally invasive procedure that typically takes less than one hour to perform. The benefits of having the LINX procedure include no alteration to the stomach, reduction of gas and bloating, in addition to preserving the ability to belch and vomit if needed. Patients report reduction in acid exposure to the esophagus, improvement in heartburn and regurgitation symptoms, and a reduction or elimination of GERD medications.

For more information on the LINX device and whether this treatment might be right for you, contact Dr. Moon’s office at 814-467-4750. Additional information can also be found at www.linxforlife.com.

Founded in 1906, Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber (CSSMCW) is an independent, non-profit acute care hospital in northern Somerset County, bordering Cambria County. The 54-bed hospital shares a campus and collaborates with Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber (CSSIMMW), a private, non-profit biomedical research center. With more than 450 employees, CSSMCW is the fourth largest employer in Somerset County. CSSMCW’s mission is to provide excellence in personalized, quality health care services through innovation, research and education in response to community needs. For more information visit www.windbercare.org.
Tags: Taesun Moon  Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber  GERD  Acid Reflux  LINX