Living Healthy: Acid Reflux - WHDH-TV 7News Boston

Living Healthy: Acid Reflux

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About 40-percent of all Americans deal with a situation that's tough to swallow. A new procedure is really easing pain for people with severe acid reflux.

38-year-old Roy Gernhardt of Hanson has suffered from acid reflux for most of his life.

“Basically I carried Rolaids with me everywhere, I knew I had it, knew I’d have to get it dealt with,” he said.

In his thirties it became a real problem and he took action.

Roy underwent a Linx procedure. A new way to treat gastro-esophageal reflux disease or "gerd" for short.

Boston medical center doctor Hiran Fernando says, for the right patient, the Linx system is a miracle.

“I think it’s a great idea, when I first heard, I thought this sounds a little crazy, but having seen the results, imp actually very impressed with it,” Fernando said.

The Linx system is a small band of titanium magnetic beads.

The band is attached to the lower esophagus, just above the stomach.

When someone swallows, it pulls parts the magnets, letting the food pass into the stomach.

Then the magnets close again, stopping the acid from going back up into the esophagus.

“It’s a much, much technically easier procedure to do, but it has to be for the right patient,” Fernando said.

Dr. Fernando says this procedure will not work for patients with large hiatal hernias or ones who have a faulty esophagus.

“If the esophagus is not squeezing properly then it’s not going to be strong enough to overcome the valve,” Fernando said.

For Roy, the procedure was a success, and just what the doctor ordered!

“I would absolutely recommend it,” he said.

Patients who undergo the procedure cannot get an MRI because of the magnetic beads.

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