Placing a band of magnetic beads around the oesophagus just above the stomach is more effective than medication at controlling regurgitation – a symptom of reflux disease – a large study has found.

According to data presented at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago in May, the LINX Reflux Management System is more effective than Omeprazole at controlling regurgitation and improving quality of life in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD/GORD).

How the LINX Reflux Management System worksThe investigation, known as the CALIBER Study, has compared mechanical sphincter augmentation (LINX) to double-dose proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for the management of reflux symptoms with 150 patients at 22 centres.

Initial data after six months has shown significant improvement in quality of life was achieved in 88.9 per cent of patients treated with LINX versus 6.8 per cent of patients treated with twice a day omeprazole.

At six months, 92.6 per cent of patients with LINX had relief of regurgitation, compared with 8.6 per cent of those taking Omeprazole.

Reginald Bell MD, one of the study’s lead investigators, commented on the initial findings: “Current practice for GERD patients with troublesome regurgitation is to increase the dose of acid suppression therapy.”

“The preliminary results of this study demonstrate a 10-fold better resolution of regurgitation with LINX compared to increases in acid-suppression therapy. If the significant disparity in outcomes observed in this preliminary analysis continues to favour LINX, the medical community will need to recognise that increasing PPI dosing for these patients is largely ineffective.”

If you are taking a PPI properly and not getting relief or your symptoms persist, it is important to speak to your doctor.
It would be beneficial to confirm the presence of reflux using Peptest, the rapid non-invasive reflux diagnostic test, prior to LINX surgery and to repeat the test at two months, six months and 12 months post-surgery.