Consider the LINX System to Resolve GERD

Consider the LINX System to Resolve GERDGastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also called reflux, is a chronic disease that affects an estimated 1 in 5 U.S. adults. If you are one of them, you know how life-altering this condition can be.

GERD is caused by a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that allows acid and bile to move up, or “reflux”, from the stomach into the esophagus, often causing injury to the lining of the esophagus and symptoms such as, heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, sore throat, and cough. When left untreated, GERD can lead to serious complications including narrowing/stricture, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer.

The LES is a muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach that functions as the body’s natural barrier to reflux. The LES acts like a valve, allowing food and liquid to pass through to the stomach. Normally, the LES resists opening to gastric pressures to prevent reflux, but in people with GERD, the LES is weak and allows acid and bile to reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.

Normal LES
Normal LES

LES of GERD Sufferers
LES of GERD Sufferers

GERD can be debilitating, causing daily pain, leading to poor sleep, affecting food tolerance, and limiting daily activities.

Medications for GERD are designed to control or suppress acid production in the stomach. They don’t address the cause of GERD and may not prevent reflux. Studies show that approximately 40% of GERD sufferers continue to have symptoms while taking medications for it.

Now there is a surgery to help GERD sufferers solve the problem permanently without taking medications for it. The LINX® System is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The beads are connected by titanium wires. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep the weak LES closed to prevent reflux. Swallowing forces temporarily break the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach. Magnetic attraction closes the LES after swallowing, to reinforce the body’s natural barrier to reflux.

If you are one of the many people suffering from uncontrolled GERD, schedule a consultation with Dr. Tsuda to see if the LINX® System is an option for you.

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Bariatric Surgery and Gastric Reflux

Bariatric Surgery and Gastric RefluxIn the last two decades, the world has seen a striking rise in both obesity and the number of people suffering from acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Many studies have convinced scientists that along with all of the other health problems caused by obesity, it also contributes to acid reflux. Several studies have shown that being overweight nearly doubles the possibility for GERD symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation of acid, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. According to Texas GERD Institute, one recent study maintains that obese people can be up to six times more likely than normal weight people to have gastroesophogeal reflux.

How does obesity make GERD more likely? Researchers aren’t sure, but some theorize that excess body fat compressing the stomach, diets with fatty and other irritation-causing foods, and hernias could be to blame.

If not controlled, GERD can result in serious problems, including an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Obese people are about three times more likely than normal weight individuals to develop esophageal cancer. Nearly two-thirds of American adults are currently overweight, and esophageal cancer has quadrupled in the last twenty years. GERD is most commonly treated with over-the-counter and prescription medications. However, these drugs do not always work, and taking them for long periods of time can cause other side effects, including weakened bones and gastrointestinal infections.

Losing weight can greatly improve symptoms. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, losing as little as eight pounds can dramatically reduce heartburn. Weight-loss surgeries may also improve GERD. Some studies have shown that the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is the most effective weight-loss surgery for consistently reducing GERD.

If you have noticed an increase in acid reflux symptoms as your weight has increased, don’t lose heart. Acid-blocking medications may supply short-term aid, and surgery may be an effective option. Bear in mind that in any case, losing weight may also provide relief. Make an appointment with Dr. Tsuda to see if weight-loss surgery is a good option for you.

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Bariatric Surgery as a Last Resort for Teens and Children

SurgeryasaLastResortforTeensandChildrenThe epidemic of childhood obesity has brought an increase in obesity-related diseases including type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Of course, weight reduction through lifestyle change and diet is the best treatment for these conditions, but the long-term results are often disappointing. According to the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, bariatric surgery — as a last resort when conservative interventions have failed — can improve liver disease and other obesity-related health problems in severely obese children and adolescents.

Although studies are limited, recent evidence suggests that in carefully selected patients an early intervention by bariatric surgery can strongly reduce the risk of adulthood obesity and obesity-related diseases, including NAFLD. Because of limited research data and the known risks of the procedure, the appropriate use of bariatric surgery in pediatric patients remains unclear.

Some believe that bariatric surgery should be limited to two groups of pediatric patients: those with body mass of 35 or higher (severe obesity), with severe NAFLD or other obesity-related medical conditions; and those with body mass index 40 or higher (morbid obesity), and mild medical conditions.

Several additional factors must be taken into account when considering bariatric surgery, including the patient’s physical and psychological maturity, desire to undergo the procedure, previous attempts at weight loss, and ability to comply with follow-up medical care. Also, which type of bariatric surgery should be performed? In adult patients, gastric bypass procedures (especially Roux-en-Y) are the most commonly used. However, concerns over the complex nutritional deficiencies occurring after these surgical procedures have limited their use in children and adolescents.

Temporary devices like the intragastric balloon are appealing for use in younger patients, as the effects are fully reversible. However, the data is limited on the use of these procedures in adolescents. The same is true for alternative procedures such as laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. All of these approaches should be considered investigational in pediatric patients.

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Morbid Obesity: Causes and Treatments

Morbid Obesity: Causes and TreatmentsObesity, a condition in which you have a high body mass index (BMI), is one of the main health problems in the United States.

Some causes of obesity include:

  • low resting metabolic rate
  • environmental factors
  • family behavior patterns
  • poorly developed satiety response
  • reactive eating due to stress or anxiety

Morbid obesity is characterized by an increased number of fat cells and a degree of irreversibility. Overeating increases the size of fat cells; however, once they achieve their maximal size, cell reproduction is sparked and massive, irreversible obesity may result.

Knowing your BMI is a good starting point in addressing your weight. If you find you are in an unhealthy range, you should talk with your doctor to address this issue.

Morbid obesity is a complex issue and has many causes. It is a serious disease that needs to be prevented and treated. Each treatment differs from person to person. Your physician can best diagnose your weight issue and give you options according to your health and lifestyle.

Modifying those behaviors that may have contributed to developing obesity is one way to treat the disease. A few suggested behavior modifiers include:

  • Changing eating habits
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Becoming educated about the body and how to nourish it appropriately
  • Engaging in a support group or extracurricular activity
  • Setting realistic weight management goals

Surgical treatment of morbid obesity is the only therapeutic form that has stood the test of time, but bariatric surgery should be reserved as a last resort. There are various surgical options to choose from when considering bariatric surgery. In order to qualify for surgery, individuals must have a BMI of 40 or greater, or a BMI more than 35 and an existing weight-related co-severity, such as diabetes or hypertension.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tsuda to help decide if surgery is right for you. Read more online at:

Changing Trends in Bariatric Surgery

Changing Trends in Bariatric SurgeryObesity is arguably one of the biggest health problems in the United States, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity-related conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer are some of the leading causes of preventable death. As this national health crisis worsens, doctors and scientist are searching for effective ways to treat these patients. Surgical treatment of obesity has been found to be more effective and to produce longer lasting outcomes than medication therapy or counseling. Weight-loss surgeries have been reported to alleviate chronic medical conditions such as diabetes as well as improving quality of life. Experts agree that bariatric surgery is considered the only long-lasting treatment for morbid obesity, but research is ongoing and techniques and procedures have changed significantly over the years.

There have been three major phases in the evolution of bariatric surgery. The pioneer phase was mostly characterized by discovery of weight loss procedures from procedures done for other purposes. The second phase can be identified with the advent of laparoscopic techniques. The metabolic phase derives from the improved understanding of the mechanisms of actions of the bariatric operations at the hormonal and molecular level.

As they have evolved, the surgeries have become less and less invasive. The safety of the laparoscopic approach, along with the better understanding of metabolic changes obtained postoperatively, has led to a more individualized approach. Now there are several very effective weight loss operations done with laparoscopy and minimally invasive techniques that lend themselves to an outpatient environment.

If you are considering bariatric surgery to improve your health and quality of life, schedule a consultation with Dr. Tsuda. He can help you choose the best option for you and help you on your way to a new healthier you. Read more online at: