The Linx Device: A Magnetic Bracelet to Prevent Heartburn
The Linx Device is a medical device which is fitted by a surgical procedure and it is designed to prevent heartburn arising and thereby treat GERD.
The Linx is a flexible bracelet made from twelve interlinked titanium beads each of which contain a tiny magnet and it works by supporting the function of the LES (Lower esophageal sphincter). The device is fitted around the lower esophagus using keyhole surgery and once fitted the twelve magnets pull together preventing stomach acid from leaking out of the stomach up into the esophagus, helping prevent the occurrence of heartburn.
The device opens when swallowing occurs as swallowing exerts higher pressures and this allows the food and drink to pass normally into the stomach for digestion. It also allows you to belch and vomit as normal.
The Linx device is manufactured in the US by Torax Medical of Shoreview Minnesota but the device has yet to receive FDA approval allowing its use in the US.but it has received approval for use in some European countries. However it does look likely that FDA approval will not be too far away following the unanimous approval in January 2012 by of the FDA advisory committees that the Linx was safe and effective for preventing heartburn in patients suffering from GERD where their heartburn does not respond to medication.
Surgical intervention is of course always the treatment of last resort due to the risks and complications that surgery can have. However this surgical procedure which takes around an hour to perform does have benefits over other types of surgical procedures for GERD as it is both reversible and it has a very short recovery period. Patients can return to a normal diet the next day and resume normal activities within a week.