New procedure promises permanent relief for patients with acid r - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

New procedure promises permanent relief for patients with acid reflux

Dr. Travis Eggl and Dr. Timothy Miller (Source: KCBD Video) Dr. Travis Eggl and Dr. Timothy Miller (Source: KCBD Video)

If you're one of the millions of Americans suffering from chronic heartburn, there is a new treatment option in Lubbock that could bring permanent relief.

It's called LINX, and it uses a tiny ring of magnetic beads that go around the bottom of the esophagus, the area that prevents acid from coming back up from the stomach,

Dr. Travis Eggl, a surgeon, says with that ring in place, you don't have reflux at all.

Most patients are back home again the day of the surgery.

Dr. Eggl explains, "It's a minimally invasive procedure. I do these laparoscopically. It usually entails four to five 5-millimeter incisions and done under general anesthesia."

Dr. Eggl has teamed up with Dr. Timothy Miller, a gastroenterologist, in this effort.  Dr. Miller is excited about what the LINX procedure can do for his heartburn patients.

He says, "The majority of patients, over 90 percent, will never take an acid blocker again. They have almost immediate relief of their symptoms with this magnet. It's strong enough that it doesn't allow acid to come back up, but it's not so strong that you can't swallow.”

Dr. Miller adds that this procedure is not recommended for obese patients or for those with a weak esophagus, since that needs to be strong enough to push food past the magnets.

The Link procedure is FDA approved and covered by insurance.

Dr. Miller says Medicare will begin coverage of this with deductibles at the first of the new year.

Note: Although Dr. Timothy Miller and Dr. Travis Eggl are the first to bring the LINX to Lubbock, Dr Douglas Cummins was the first to bring a similar procedure to Plainview at the Covenant hospital there.

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