Media contact: Adam Pope
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery will host an esophageal cancer event on the first-floor lobby of The Kirklin Clinic on Friday, Nov. 15, from 7:30-9:30 a.m.
There will be information presented about esophageal cancers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and the new LINX device. Several providers and LINX patients will be available to speak and share their stories.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a digestive disorder that is quite discomforting. If GERD is untreated, it can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus and even cancer. GERD affects 20 percent of the United States population, including people of all ages. LINX is currently the only FDA medical device approved to be an effective and safe treatment for GERD. LINX is a small implant that requires a surgical procedure. It avoids many of the complications that were considered risks with the previous reflux surgery.
“The device contracts after someone eats food, preventing acid from refluxing into the chest. The prior operation for reflux is difficult to reverse and can have significant side effects,” said Abhisek Parmar, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery. “But LINX has the potential to replace the old procedure, avoid many of its complications and allow for a faster return to normal diet.”
The LINX device has been successful in Christina Reeves, a UAB patient. For years, Reeves suffered from GERD and relied on over-the-counter medications that did not seem to ease her discomfort.
“I heard the previous surgical fix for GERD was irreversible,” Reeves said. “Therefore, the LINX procedure seemed a more reasonable option. I was very pleased with Dr. Parmar and his staff, and I highly recommend them and the surgery.”
Reeves no longer has to take medications, and her GERD is completely gone.
The LINX devices have been successful in the patients UAB has treated, and more patients will share their experiences at the Nov. 15 event.