“This device is a huge advance for the treatment of reflux, which affects millions of people in the United States. In fact, I have a list of patients waiting for it to be implanted,” Lipham was quoted on USC’s website.
The device was created by Torax Medical, Inc. based in Minnesota. Made up of magnetic, titanium beads, the bracelet-like device is implanted around the end of the esophagus near the lower esophageal sphincter valve. When this valve is weakened, acids from the stomach are able to reflux up into the esophagus, thus causing GERD to develop over a period of time.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month and more than 15 million experience heartburn symptoms everyday.
With 15 to 20 minutes needed for implantation of the device, the procedure is almost completely outpatient, whereas acid reflux disease is more commonly treated via a surgical procedure. This procedure calls for the esophagael sphincter to be reconstructed. This invasive procedure results in the inability to belch or vomit and has been shown to lead to further bloating or gastro issues.
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