US-based St John Hospital and Medical Center is providing a new alternative treatment for patients with acid reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

The hospital is offering a new treatment with Linx System, a small and flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads.

GERD is caused by a weak muscle called lower oesophageal sphincter, and will lead to serious complications such as stricture, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer.

St John Hospital surgeon Abdelkader Hawasli said: "This newest procedure for managing reflux is for select patients who are looking for a minimally invasive procedure that lets them go on a regular diet immediately after the procedure.

"The hospital is offering a new treatment with Linx System, a small and flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads."

"Additionally, patients using the Linx procedure have no problems with belching, which is a common side effect of fundoplication surgery."

The FDA-approved device demonstrated positive results in a five-year trial, according to the report published in New England Journal of Medicine, noted St John Hospital.

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Under the publication, the clinical trial assessed 100 patients with chronic GERD before and after treatment with the Linx System, of which 92% achieved freedom from daily GERD medication.

Noted to take less than one hour, the system will be implanted around the weak sphincter just above the stomach in a minimally invasive procedure.

According to the hospital, magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep a weak esophageal sphincter closed to prevent reflux.

St John Hospital, part of St John Providence Health System, is a 772-bed teaching hospital in Detroit, Michigan.