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Tri-County Health Care offering new acid reflux procedure

An innovative laparoscopic procedure to help prevent acid reflux in patients who suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is the latest tool Dr. David Kloss at Tri-County Health Care has to treat the disease.

Titled the LINX® Reflux Management System, Tri-County is one of only nine facilities in the state certified to do the procedure and the results to acid reflux sufferers can be life-changing. Kloss is a board certified general surgeon specially trained to perform this surgery.

More than 30 million American's suffer from acid reflux each month, and the risk for developing GERD increases after age 40. The symptoms of GERD include heartburn, regurgitation, sore throat, cough and chest pain. When left untreated, reflux disease can lead to serious complications, such as esophagitis, stricture, Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancer.

Using a small, flexible band of titanium magnets, Kloss implants the band around the patient's esophagus just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads strengthens the weakened esophageal sphincter's barrier function. The magnetic band is loose enough to allow food and liquids to pass normally to the stomach, but immediately closes after swallowing to restore the magnetic barrier to reflux. Following the procedure, patients are able to resume a normal diet and will typically resume normal activities in less than a week. The surgery is typically done as an outpatient procedure.

"This new procedure represents a substantial advancement in our ability to treat patients who suffer from GERD," Kloss said."In addition to excellent clinical results, this procedure provides many lifestyle benefits compared to the traditional surgery for reflux called Nissen fundoplication. Studies show that LINX® reduces or eliminates the need for medications and offers improved quality of life for our patients. The LINX procedure far out performs the Nissen procedure and does not have the side effects."

Using the LINX® Reflux Management System, the procedure is indicated for patients diagnosed with GERD as defined by abnormal pH testing, and who are seeking an alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy or proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication.

"Medication is just a band aide solution," Kloss said. "GERD is a caused by a mechanical defect and requires a mechanical solution, which is achieved through this minimally invasive procedure."