June 13, 2014
A DeKalb county father of three has a new lease on life thanks to a new groundbreaking surgical procedure to treat his severe reflux or GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease). 41-year-old Demetrice Moore of Lithonia was the first patient to receive the LINX® procedure at a metro-area hospital. Dr. Scott Steinberg of DeKalb Medical’s Heartburn Solutions Center performed Moore’s LINX surgery on March 14; Moore is fully back to his previous active lifestyle and doing well.
The LINX® Reflux Management System is a simple surgical solution for people who suffer from GERD. Moore didn’t know he had GERD until he sought treatment for sudden, severe symptoms that left him unable to eat, sleep or work. Watch a complete video about Moore’s case here, and a short video about the surgery here.
DeKalb Medical's Heartburn Solutions Center was selected as one of the first Centers nationally to offer the LINX® Reflux Management Device, which is the latest in GERD treatments.
“We are proud to be the first in metro Atlanta to offer patients in north Georgia an inpatient, full-service hospital experience for their LINX surgery,” said Pam Briggs, RN, Clinical Coordinator, DeKalb Medical Heartburn Solutions Center. “This ground-breaking system, coupled with our advanced surgical team and hospital expertise, gives patients new hope for GERD management.”
The LINX® Reflux Management System was approved by the FDA in 2012. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic, often progressive disease resulting from a weak Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). A weak LES allows acid and bile to reflux from the stomach up into the esophagus. The LINX® System from Torax Medical is a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. The magnetic attraction between the beads is intended to help the LES resist opening to gastric pressures, preventing reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.
The band of beads, which looks like a metal “bracelet,” was placed around Moore’s esophagus just above his stomach using a common, minimally-invasive surgical technique called laparoscopy. Patients are placed under general anesthesia during the procedure, which generally lasts less than an hour. The LINX® System does not require any anatomic alteration of the stomach.
Moore, a firefighter and entrepreneur, was able to go home a day after surgery and resumed normal eating habits almost immediately after the procedure. “I think if someone is suffering from acid reflux and GERD, I think they should definitely look at having LINX surgery because it will significantly improve the situation. It did for me,” said Moore.
Dr. Scott D. Steinberg is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He received his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York in 1995. Dr. Steinberg is the Medical Director of the Surgical Weight Loss Center at DeKalb Medical. This center has been designated as an ASMBS Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery. He has performed over 2,000 laparoscopic gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and lap band procedures for morbid obesity.
Founded in 1961, DeKalb Regional Health System, Inc., known as DeKalb Medical, is comprised of more than 800 doctors skilled in 55 medical specialties across three campuses. The 627-bed system includes DeKalb Medical at North Decatur (451 beds), DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur (77 beds), DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (100 beds), and DeKalb Medical Physicians Group and the DeKalb Medical Foundation. The not-for-profit health care system is a HealthGrades® Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Attack in 2013 and Five-Star Recipient for Peripheral Vascular Bypass in 2012. Our Maternity Center was selected as a participant in the Best Fed Beginnings project as part of UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Our Cancer Center has been granted three-year approval by The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as a community hospital comprehensive oncology program, and our Joint Solutions Center is a metro Atlanta leader in joint replacement. In addition, our LTAC earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for acquired brain injury, wound care and respiratory failure services. Visit www.dekalbmedical.org.
How Does the LINX System Work?
The LINX System is placed around the esophagus just above the stomach using a common, minimally invasive surgical technique called laparoscopy. (See Fig. 1-3). The LINX System is a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. The magnetic attraction between the beads is intended to help the LES resist opening to gastric pressures, preventing reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. (See Fig. 1) LINX is designed so that swallowing forces temporarily break the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach. (See Fig. 2) Magnetic attraction of the device is designed to close the LES immediately after swallowing, restoring the body's natural barrier to reflux. (See Fig. 3).
Patients are placed under general anesthesia during the procedure, which generally lasts less than an hour. The LINX System does not require any anatomic alteration of the stomach. Most patients go home the day after surgery and resume a normal diet.