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Saint Thomas Health Performing LINX Procedure for Reflux Disease

May 4th 2017

Saint Thomas Health (STH) is now performing the LINX procedure for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).  This simple, minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure implants a quarter-sized titanium device around the outside of the lower esophageal sphincter and is immediately effective at preventing stomach acid from entering the esophagus. Saint Thomas Health is part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system.

"The LINX device is an exciting new technology that is simple to place, safe, effective and reversible,” said Dr. Tyson Thomas, STH General Surgeon.  “It is an ideal treatment for people who are not quite ready to commit to the Nissen fundoplication but who are also not comfortable with ongoing medical management either due to medication concerns or medication failure. The LINX device can be placed with a minimally invasive approach, is often same-day surgery, and immediate resumption of a regular diet is encouraged."

GERD is caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which is the body’s reflux barrier.  Normally, the reflux barrier acts as a one-way valve, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach but preventing stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. In people with reflux, the weak reflux barrier allows harmful acid and bile to flow back into the esophagus.

Results of a five-year clinical study found the LINX procedure a beneficial treatment for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and study authors conclude LINX should be a first-line therapy option for GERD sufferers.  The study found the LINX procedure normalized the amount of acid in the esophagus, while safely and effectively relieving heartburn and regurgitation, and improving quality of life without the need for medication.   The LINX device was approved by the FDA in early 2012 and currently is the only medical device approved by the FDA to be safe and effective for the treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).



In Tennessee, Ascension’s Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates.  Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $78 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016.  Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable.  Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia.   Visit www.sthealth.com

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