The Swedish Thoracic Surgery team recently had results from a study published in Annals of Thoracic Surgery, "Short-Term Outcomes Using Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation Versus Nissen Fundoplication for Medically Resistant Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease", in which a retrospective case-control study was performed of consecutive patients undergoing either procedure who had chronic gastrointestinal esophageal disease (GERD) and a hiatal hernia of less than 3 cm. Based on the study, the LINX device appears to restore the sphincter barrier function and preserve normal physiology which enables belching and vomiting.
Since my initial LINX blog post 20 months ago, we have been engaged in a dialogue with patients from around the world who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Despite my initial trepidation to “blogging”, this has been a rewarding experience to hear about patient’s problems, their concerns about the current treatments (PPI’s and Nissen fundoplication) and simply interacting with them. I thank the patients who have taken time to share their thoughts on the blog.
When our social media manager asked me to provide an update on LINX, I realized that I have been simply responding to patient’s questions and I haven’t posted any of my thoughts or updates on what is happening with the LINX device.
There are some exciting developments for patients who are interesting in having a LINX implanted.
Use of MRI and LINX
- Torax, the company who designed and manufactures the LINX device, has received FDA support for the use of MRI with the LINX device. This conditional approval allows for patients to undergo and MRI that is 0.7 Tesla or less. I am trying to clarify with our radiologists what a 0.7 Tesla MRI will cover.
- For medicare patients, LINX now has a dedicated procedure code that allows for payment to cover the cost of the hospital portion of implanting the LINX device. The surgeon’s fee is a separate code and fee and is usually covered.
- For patients with non-medicare insurance, the ...