Fighting GERD with the LINX Reflux Management System

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, aka GERD, is a chronic, often progressive disease resulting from a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). One in three adults suffer from heartburn and associated symptoms, meaning that approximately seven million people in the United States have some symptoms of GERD. Many take medications that mask or control symptoms, but when medicine doesn’t work, surgery may be the answer.

The LINX® Reflux Management System augments the weak LES, restoring the body’s anatomy-demon-1natural barrier to reflux. In other words, LINX provides a mechanical answer to what boils down to a mechanical problem.

The LINX System is a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. The magnetic attraction between the beads is intended to help the LES resist opening to gastric pressures, preventing reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.

LINX is designed so that swallowing forces temporarily break the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach. Magnetic attraction of the device is designed to close the LES immediately after swallowing, restoring the body’s natural barrier to reflux.

The LINX System is placed around the esophagus just above the stomach using a surgical technique called laparoscopy. Patients are placed under general anesthesia during the procedure. The LINX System does not require any anatomic alteration of the stomach. This procedure is so minimally invasive that most patients go home the day after surgery and resume a normal diet.

It is important to take your heartburn symptoms seriously because it is a signal from your body that something is wrong. Since reflux disease is a progressive chronic condition, you need to make the necessary changes before you have to schedule a surgery.

If you live in the Las Vegas area, and you believe you might benefit from the LINX procedure, contact Dr. Shawn Tsuda for a consultation. He and his expert team will help you find the proper treatment for this serious, life-altering condition.

 

The Decision that will Change your Life

Weight-loss surgery is a major, permanent life change. Most people don’t even consider it if they haven’t exhausted all of their other options. As a matter of fact, many people research weight-loss surgery for years and never take action. Whether it is fear of a drastic life change or fear of failure, making this choice could be a matter of life and death.

The truth is, bariatric treatment could drastically improve the health, happiness, and lifespan for the over 18 million Americans who currently qualify. If you are one of them, and you’re hesitating to have the surgery, here are some things to consider:

Why are you considering bariatric surgery? Freeway Sign - Decision - Yes or No

  • Obesity-related health problems
  • Depression
  • Out of breath quickly
  • Obesity discrimination
  • Relationship problems
  • Poor self-image
  • Failed diet and exercise programs

If you and your bariatric doctors decide that surgery makes sense for you, be prepared to do a lot of work both before surgery and for the rest of your life. Bariatric surgery should be thought of as one of the most effective tools available, but in order to succeed you must be ready to completely change your life.

According to the National Institutes of Health guidelines, you could be a good candidate for bariatric treatment if one of the following applies…

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more (“morbidly obese” or “super obese”), or
  • Your BMI is between 35 and 39.9 (“severely obese”) and you have a serious obesity-related health problem.

As mentioned above, bariatric treatment may be the best tool to make you happier and healthier, but that’s all it is — a tool. You will be the key to making it successful.

If you would like to talk to a doctor to see if bariatric surgery is a good option for you. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Shawn Tsuda. He and his teams of experts can help you make the right decision for you.

Hernias and Surgery

Anyone who sews or does even simple crafts or carpentry knows that for a project to be well made, the seams have to be just right so that they don’t pull apart.

Our bodies are like that too. If our numerous “seams” aren’t made just right, they can pull AdobeStock_117491372 (3).jpgapart and let body parts slide into places they don’t belong. The abdomen is surrounded by muscles to keep the stomach, small intestine, and colon where they belong, but if one of these organs starts to slip though a weakness or a hole in the muscles, it’s called a hernia.

Other parts of the body can have organ herniation too. By definition, a hernia is a bulge or protrusion of an organ through a muscle or other structure that normally serves to keep it contained. However, when people talk about hernias, they are usually talking about the abdomen. While there are many types of abdominal hernias (hiatal, umbilical, or incisional), mentioning a hernia usually means they are talking about one in about the groin.

Risk factors for developing a hernia include:

  • family history
  • premature birth
  • chronic cough
  • constipation
  • lifting heavy weights
  • being overweight
  • smoking
  • Pregnancy

Surgery is often the only way to truly repair a hernia. Hernia repair can be done using traditional open surgery or minimally invasive surgery.

Open Surgery: With open surgery, a large incision is made in your abdomen that allows your surgeon’s hands to reach and touch your organs.

Minimally Invasive Surgery: Minimally invasive surgery is also known as laparoscopy. It is done through a few small incisions using long, thin surgical instruments and a tiny camera. The camera takes images inside your body and sends them to a video screen in the operating room to guide doctors during surgery.

da Vinci Surgery is another minimally invasive surgical option for adult patients facing abdominal hernia surgery. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D HD vision system and special wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. da Vinci technology enables your surgeon to operate with enhanced vision, precision, and control.

Early clinical data suggests: da Vinci Ventral Hernia Surgery offers the following potential benefits:

  • Low rate of pain
  • Low rate of the hernia returning
  • Low rate of surgeon switching to open surgery
  • Short hospital stay

Your doctor controls the da Vinci System, which translates his or her hand movements into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body. Dr. Shawn Tsuda is one of a growing number of surgeons worldwide offering da Vinci ® Surgery. Schedule an appointment to discuss the best treatment for you.

Bariatric Surgery and Maintaining Weight Loss

Weight-loss surgery helps people drop a significant amount of weight, but can patients maintain their weight loss? A new study confirms that much of the weight appears to stay off for at least 10 years.

This study suggests that patients interested in bariatric surgery, especially gastric bypass surgery, should be able to lose a significant amount of weight and keep that weight off for a very long time. While other research has found that weight-loss surgery is the most effective treatment for obese patients, there is less data on long-lasting effects. That’s what makes this new study exciting – because of a decade-long follow-up.

Gastric bypass surgery involves making the stomach smaller, and attaching the lower part of the small intestine directly to the stomach, so much of the small intestine is bypassed. After surgery, people feel much fuller, faster. The surgery also appears to alter gut hormones, gut bacteria and metabolism, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Weight Loss SurgeryAt the study’s one-year mark, those who had the bypass had lost 31 percent of their starting weight, but the non-surgical patients had lost just 1 percent. At 10 years, the researchers had weight information on 564 of the nearly 1,800 patients who had the gastric bypass. Only 19 of them had regained so much weight that they were nearly back to their starting weight; the rest kept off the weight. Compared to the non-surgical group, the bypass group weighed 21 percent less than at the start of the study.
Next, the researchers compared three types of weight-loss surgeries: gastric bypass; sleeve gastrectomy; and adjustable gastric banding. As with gastric bypass surgery, both of these procedures leave people feeling full faster.

After four years, those who had gastric bypass lost nearly 28 percent of their starting weight. People who had sleeve gastrectomy lost about 18 percent and those with gastric banding lost about 11 percent, the researchers found.

Weight-loss surgery is not a “cure” for obesity. Losing weight and maintaining the loss require commitment and lifestyle changes. If you live in the Las Vegas area and are interested in learning whether bariatric surgery is a good option for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shawn Tsuda.