Memorial Medical Center Surgeon Introduces Minimally Invasive Procedure for Treatment of Acid Reflux

February 2, 2018


For more information contact:
Memorial Medical Center
Anita Rockett, Director of Marketing
Phone: 575-532-4407

Photo Attached:  General Surgery Associates, C. Aitor Macias, MD, FACS, performed the first LINX® surgery in the region at Memorial Medical Center.
Graphics Attached: LINX® device and placement illustration.

January 24, 2018

Memorial Medical Center Surgeon Introduces Minimally Invasive Procedure for Treatment of Acid Reflux

Las Cruces, NM – A new procedure is being offered at Memorial Medical Center for people who suffer from chronic Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), commonly known as acid reflux. In December, Memorial surgeon, Dr. C. Aitor Macias, was the first in southern New Mexico and far west Texas to perform the minimally invasive LINX® procedure.

Many people experience heartburn or acid reflux from time to time, but more than 15 million Americans suffer from it daily according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Those experiencing symptoms regularly may use over-the-counter or prescription medications to deal with symptoms. Now doctors are learning that many of the people taking acid-reducing medication are not having their symptoms controlled. When left untreated, reflux disease can lead to serious complications, such as esophagitis, stricture, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

The relatively new LINX® Reflux Management System uses a flexible band of titanium beads with magnetic cores that is implanted around the patient’s esophagus just above the stomach. The LINX® device is approximately the same diameter as a quarter. Once implanted, the flexible ring of magnets opens to allow food and liquid to pass to the stomach and then closes to prevent contents from moving back up into the esophagus. Unlike the traditional fundoplication, a surgical technique that strengthens the barrier to acid reflux when the sphincter does not function normally, LINX® does not alter the gastric anatomy. The LINX device, manufactured by Torax Medical, has been implanted in almost 10,000 patients nationally after receiving FDA approval in 2012.

“Sometimes GERD symptoms cannot be controlled by over the counter medications,” said Dr. Macias. “More and more researchers are saying that prolonged use of these acid-reducing medications can be detrimental to the patient. LINX® provides a simple treatment that allows the gastric system to function normally, where previous conventional therapies can cause complications. I am pleased that our patient is doing very well post-surgery.”

This minimally invasive, laparoscopic LINX® procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes less than an hour to complete. Patients are encouraged to resume a normal diet immediately following the surgery and most can return to work and resume their activities within a few days.

John Harris, Memorial’s CEO stated, “This new procedure is another example of the cutting edge surgical procedures we are introducing at Memorial.  Dr. Macias is an exceptional member of our outstanding surgery team. Memorial is proud to offer the most comprehensive, leading digestive health program in Southern New Mexico.”

For more information about LINX® surgery for treatment of GERD or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Macias, call General Surgery Associates at 575.522.0329.