A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves into the chest through a small natural opening in the diaphragm. This can cause frequent regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, and refractory heartburn. In severe cases (large paraesophageal hernias) when most of the stomach herniates into the chest cavity, loss of blood supply to the stomach may happen, creating a surgical emergency.
Hiatal/Paraesophageal Hernia Repair and Fundoplication
Surgical repair of a hiatal hernia involves tightening the diaphragm opening and wrapping the top part of the stomach very loosely around the lower esophagus at the location of the lower esophageal sphincter. This prevents acids and food from flowing backwards from the stomach into the esophagus by restoring the function of the weakened lower esophageal sphincter. The operation is performed in minimally invasive fashion (laparoscopically or robotically), with quick recovery and good control of reflux symptoms. Most patients do not require anti-acid medication anymore after this operation.
The LINX Implant Procedure is a surgical treatment for heartburn and/or GERD. It is a small device about the size of a quarter made of permanent magnets surrounded by titanium beds. The LINX implant helps to strengthen and reinforce the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. This stops acid from entering the esophagus easily. LINX is implanted through a minimally invasive laparoscopic/robotic procedure around the esophagus where it connects to the stomach. It is designed to restore your natural reflux. LINX is removable should the need arise for other treatment options. LINX is a treatment intended for patients diagnosed with GERD who continue to have symptoms even while taking medication. There is no alteration of the stomach necessary.