Norwalk Hospital offers new reflux disease treatment

A minimally invasive surgical technique now being offered at Norwalk Hospital may offer relief to those who suffer chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Neil Floch, M.D., FACS, director of minimally invasive surgery and director of bariatric surgery at Norwalk Hospital, has now completed several laparoscopy surgeries using the LINX® System to treat reflux disease.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012, this system is a flexible “bracelet” of small, interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. The band, implanted just above the stomach — around the esophagus — strengthens a weak lower esophageal sphincter. It uses magnetic attraction to prevent the sphincter from opening to the reflux of bile and acid from the stomach into the esophagus, a press release from Norwalk Hospital said.

Norwalk Hospital is one of three Connecticut hospitals to use the LINX system.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 15 million Americans suffer from heartburn, a symptom of reflux disease, every day. Untreated, it can result in serious complications including the pre-cancerous condition Barrett’s Esophagus, increasing the risk for esophageal cancer, the hospital press release said.

“Laparosocpic surgery with the LINX system is an exciting treatment advancement for the millions who suffer from chronic heartburn, regurgitation and nausea and desire an alternative to life-long medications,” Dr. Floch said in the press release. “This minimally invasive surgery eliminates or reduces reflux symptoms without the gas and bloating or altering of the stomach associated with traditional reflux surgery.”

For more information, visit norwalkhospital.org or call Fairfield County Bariatrics at 203-899-0744.