Apr 16, 2013 9:40 AM by Marissa Torres
A "bracelet" made of magnetic titanium beads is helping chronic heart burn sufferers.
Doctors say the quick fix not only gives patients instant relief, but reduces the risk for serious health problems down the road.
A typical american breakfast of fried eggs, bacon and hashbrowns-- sure it looks delicious, but it can often lead to heartburn before you even make it to lunch.
Some acid reflux sufferers say it gets so bad, it's like a volcano erupting in their stomach and throat.
Over the counter antacid medications are usually the go to. But now there's a new, creative option for chronic heartburn patients who don't get enough help from medicine.
Acid reflux happens when a weak muscle, the Lower Esophageal Sphincter, doesn't close after swallowing as it should. That lets stomach juices splash back into the throat.
"It's a one-way valve that opens when you swallow and then closes and prevents anything from coming back up. So the reason you get reflux is again because of that leaky valve" says Dr. John Lipham ,a surgeon.
Now this magnetic bracelet-- the lynx device-- is helping.
it's implanted at the base of the esophagus.
(doctor) "the force of attraction of these magnetic beads coming together helps keep the weak lower esophageal sphincter or valve closed at the end of esophagus."
doctors implant the Linx in a half hour using a scope and keyhole incisions in the belly. The ring reinforces the weak muscle to keep it closed, yet is flexible and expands to let food pass when someone swallows.
A study out of the New England Journal of Medicine followed a hundred patients who had reflux for at least 10 years and were getting worse despite the use of antacids. Within a year of getting the device-- 86 percent said they were completely off medications.