LINX system treatment for chronic reflux
The LINX® system is a medical device designed for people with chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
It is a small flexible band of titanium beads with magnetic cores.
How it works
The band is placed around the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS) during keyhole surgery (laparoscopic).
The beads temporarily separate when you swallow, allowing food and drink to pass into your stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads then brings the device back to the closed position to prevent acid reflux, as shown in the diagram.
Who should have LINX®
LINX® is suitable for people who suffer from GORD and have not had a strong response to antacid medicine.
You will be assessed by having oesophageal tests to check if you are suitable for surgery. You will need to have a healthy oesophagus and be able to swallow normally.
A clinical study showed that GORD symptoms and regurgitation had significantly decreased after 5 years of having the LINX® in place. 85 out of 100 people taking part in the study no longer needed medicine and said their quality of life had improved.
Having smaller, more frequent portions of food can help. This puts less pressure on the valve that connects your oesophagus and stomach.
Avoid or cut down on foods such as:
- coffee or tea (both regular and decaffeinated)
- fizzy drinks
- citrus fruits
- mint or peppermint
- fatty foods
- spicy foods
- onions and garlic
Your symptoms can improve if you:
- stop smoking
- exercise more
- achieve a healthy weight
Your GP or a pharmacist can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your heartburn symptoms. It's best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you're most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
You may have trouble swallowing after the operation. This is usually temporary and lasts up to 6 weeks, but may require an endoscopy and dilatation (widening of the oesophagus).
Some people find that their symptoms return or continue to have difficulty swallowing. If this is the case, the band may need to be removed.
The LINX® device should not affect airport security, however you will be given an implant card which can be presented at security checks.
If you are told you need an MRI scan, it should only be performed if the scanner is under 3 Tesla in strength.
In 6 out of 100 cases the band will need to be removed due to intolerance, failure or for MRI scans. In even fewer cases, the band may erode and need removing.
Band erosion can be a rare complication.
Giving your permission (consent)
We want to involve you in decisions about your care and treatment. If you decide to have surgery, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This states that you agree to have the treatment and you understand what it involves.
If you would like more information about our consent process, please speak to a member of staff caring for you.
Resource number: 4854/VER3
Date published: November 2022
Review date: November 2025