Healthy You - Every Day

LINX Controls Michelle Loux's Reflux With Fewer Risks and Side Effects

“LINX has changed my life.”

Michelle Loux's GERD controlled by LINX.

For more than a decade, Michelle Loux, 46, of Quakertown suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as acid reflux. “I had severe heartburn when I was pregnant with my last son, which was 16 years ago,” she says. After giving birth, Loux’s burning symptoms continued to get worse, especially in the past five years.

“GERD limited everything I did. I couldn’t drink anything carbonated, or eat pizza or anything spicy, like Mexican food, which is my favorite. I would even get heartburn if I drank water,” she says. Sleeping also was a challenge because lying down made Loux’s GERD symptoms worse.

Seeking relief

To manage her condition, Loux tried two different types of acid reflux medications. She also lost 70 pounds with the help of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) Weight Management Program. Still, the uncomfortable symptoms persisted.

Fortunately, last fall, Loux, who works as an LVHN scheduling coordinator, saw a poster at work about heartburn that led her to Paul Cesanek, MD, a board-certified surgeon with LVPG General, Bariatric and Trauma Surgery and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence. After evaluating Loux’s condition, Cesanek recommended LINX®, a laparoscopic surgical procedure in which a magnetic titanium band is placed above the lower esophageal sphincter.

‘An amazing tool’

“LINX is an amazing tool that can provide outstanding reflux control with fewer risks and side effects, compared with traditional reflux surgery,” Cesanek says. “It’s meant to mimic the normal physiology of the gastroesophageal junction by augmenting the pressure that’s supposed to be there.”

With LINX, food can pass from the esophagus to the stomach normally. The magnetized band opens when food is swallowed, then squeezes closed to prevent stomach contents and acid from flowing back into the esophagus. During the procedure, Loux also had a hiatal hernia repaired, which can contribute to the success of LINX surgery. Since her procedure and hernia repair in November 2018, Loux has been symptom-free.

“I started feeling better immediately,” Loux says. She needs to thoroughly chew her food because that’s how LINX works best. But other than that, “I can eat pizza and Mexican food without a problem,” Loux says. “LINX has changed my life.”

Acid Reflux Surgery

Chronic heartburn symptoms from acid reflux disease (also called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) are hard on your body. When medications and lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage the condition, surgery may help. We offer surgical options to effectively treat this condition.

Explore More Articles