Acid reflux affects millions of Americans and some patients continue to suffer even with medication, but a new device can bring relief.
“If I didn’t have any medication water would give me reflux,” Skylar Ford said.
Ford, 25, has suffered from acid reflux for as long as she can remember.
It’s forced her to change her life, avoiding favorite foods like grapefruit and wine, along with exercise which can make it worse.
So when medications and lifestyle changes stopped working, her doctor suggested trying something different.
It’s a little device called Linx. It looks like a piece of jewelry but it’s actually a ring that doctors implant around the bottom of the esophagus.
“The bracelet beads have little magnets in them and so they can expand or contract much like your esophagus expands or contracts when you swallow,” Dr. Patrick Jackson said.
Surgeons say many people with acid reflux have faulty valves at the base of their esophagus so acid from the stomach backs up into the chest and throat.
The Linx bracelet helps the valve work, keeping it closed when it needs to be closed and open when someone swallows.
Leaving acid reflux untreated is more than just an annoyance, it can damage the cells in the esophagus which can lead to cancer.
Ford’s doctor told her they saw some of that corrosion.
But after the implant, she feels great.
“I had the surgery on a Tuesday and by Thursday I was out walking my dogs again,” Ford said.
Since Ford had the bracelet implanted, she hasn’t had any reflux.
Even after eating one of her favorite foods, grapefruit!