HFM offers new procedure to treat acid reflux disease.

Matthew Campbell, MD of HFM General and Vascular Surgery is the first and only surgeon in Manitowoc County to offer LINX—a minimally invasive outpatient procedure to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD or acid reflux.

“This new advancement revolutionizes the treatment of acid reflux disease,” says Dr. Campbell. “LINX is a minimally invasive procedure, and patients can return home the same day. It starts working immediately and patients can start eating right after surgery.”

Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)—the muscle that opens and closes to allow food to enter and stay in the stomach—does not close properly, is weak, or relaxes too often and acid from the stomach leaks back into the esophagus.

During the LINX procedure, a surgeon uses a surgical technique called laparoscopy to makes small incisions in the belly and places a flexible ring of small magnets around the LES. The strength of the magnets helps keep the weak LES muscle closed to prevent reflux yet is flexible and expands to let food pass when someone swallows.

“People do not feel the ring once it is implanted, but its effects can be felt right away,” added Dr. Campbell. “Reflux symptoms go away and stay away, though there is a brief period where swallowing may feel different until the body adjusts.”

“Most patients with acid reflux disease are prescribed medications to reduce the acid level in the stomach, but medications are not a complete solution, and can have potential side effects and even long-term complications which diminish the patient’s overall quality of life,” said Dr. Campbell. “This innovative procedure is designed to improve the quality of life of my patients.”