Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a widespread medical condition. In the last decade, esophageal reflux disease has been in the area of increased attention due to a tendency of severe reflux esophagitis appearance and an increase in cancer of the esophagus development. The minimally invasive surgery with LINX reflux management system placement is a novel approach that guarantees complete GERD cure.
Reflux esophagitis is the return of stomach and/or duodenal contents into the esophagus. This physiological phenomenon is widespread and is noticed in generally healthy patients of any age. Therefore, it is often called simply reflux, although pathological "reverse flow" is observed in other body systems (e.g., the cardiovascular system with malformations). In general, reflux disease (or some of its manifestations) as a pathology, occurs in about 40% of the adult population. The prevalence of reflux esophagitis in developed countries reaches 50-60% and is growing steadily every year.
The prognosis for patients with reflux esophagitis is determined by the complications of the disease, such as peptic stricture, Barrett's esophagus, and ulcerative lesions of the esophagus. The drug therapy schemes with the use of modern and most effective drugs have significantly reduced the risk of complications and increased the quality of life of patients. However, it must be noted that the cause of the development of the disease is an organic pathology, and it is sometimes not possible to influence it with certain medical preparations.
There’s a medical saying: "It is impossible to describe heartburn to someone who has never experienced it, and there is no need to explain it to someone who has it". Heartburn, a tearing burning sensation in the upper esophagus, is the most common symptom of reflux esophagitis and GERD. Also, typical symptoms include:
- Taste of food eaten some time ago, appearing after belching
- A small amount of half-digested gastric contents in the mouth, which occurs without prior nausea during different movements (may not be noticed in some cases)
- Taste or streaks of blood in saliva (erosive inflammation of the esophagus is often accompanied by bleeding)
The main cause of reflux disease is the dysfunction of the sphincter, the muscle valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Sphincter disorders can be caused by:
- Improper diet (including the habit of eating lying down, frequent alcohol consumption, smoking, carbonated drinks consumption, or other factors that irritate the mucous membranes of the upper gastrointestinal tract)
- Inflammatory and ulcerative diseases of the stomach and/or duodenum
- Individual anatomical features of patients
- Pylorospasm (pyloric sphincter dysfunction that is located between the stomach and duodenum)
- Taking certain medications (anticholinergic, antihistamines, etc.)
- Postoperative syndrome, as a result of surgical treatment of the gastrointestinal tract
To assess the severity and causes of the reflux disease development, it is necessary to answer several questions:
- Is there pathological gastroesophageal reflux?
- Are there any changes in the esophageal mucosa?
- Are there any disorders of esophageal motility?
Changes in the esophageal mucosa and their degree can be easily assessed using the endoscopic examination. Besides, it allows doctors to reveal a hiatal hernia, determine the acidity of gastric contents, and perform a targeted biopsy.
It is possible to evaluate the motility of the esophagus, confirm the hiatal hernia, assess the tone of the cardia, the condition of the fornix of the stomach, and the length of the abdominal segment of the esophagus, and determine the degree of reflux using X-ray examination.
When examining patients with chronic esophagitis, two issues are fundamental. The first is the exclusion of pathology of the heart, that is often accompanied by chest pain. The second is the disease known as Barrett's esophagus. Clinically, it manifests itself with symptoms similar to reflux esophagitis. But at the same time, the disease is much more serious, since Barrett's esophagus is considered a precancerous condition.
The instrumental examination methods, which are usually used when esophagitis or gastroduodenitis is suspected, include:
- Manometry of the esophagus
The diagnostic departments of hospitals in Germany allow for a full examination to be performed.
Unfortunately, conservative treatment of the reflux esophagitis and medications that reduce acid release are not effective in all cases.
In hospitals in Germany, the treatment of reflux disease is successfully carried out with an operative laparoscopic method, which is certainly the least traumatic for the patient.
Due to the constant improvement of the technique of laparoscopic treatment of reflux esophagitis in hospitals in Germany, the number of relapses has decreased significantly.
The use of modern laparoscopic technology in Germany with an enlarged image projected onto a monitor allows achieving the most accurate visualization of all the thinnest anatomical structures in the operation area. With the help of a laparoscope, it is also possible to take tissue samples for biopsy.
Thanks to the use of the most modern systems and the latest techniques in hospitals in Germany, the symptoms of reflux esophagitis can be eliminated quickly and with minimal side effects.
Hospitals in Germany have recently opened up new possibilities for the treatment of patients with reflux disease. This is the LINX reflux management system.
The therapy with the LINX reflux management device has been specifically developed to treat reflux disease. The LINX reflux management system does not require any anatomical changes in the stomach, unlike traditional surgery techniques used for reflux disease.
The LINX reflux management device is a small flexible ring of interconnected titanium balls with magnetic cores. The magnetic attraction between the balls helps the lower esophageal sphincter resist intragastric pressure without opening up and preventing reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. The LINX reflux management device is designed in such a way that the forces that expand the lower esophageal sphincter temporarily exceed the magnetism, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the balls is designed to close the sphincter immediately after swallowing, restoring the body's natural barrier to gastroesophageal reflux.
As a rule, the abdominal wall is not fully opened during the intervention, so a minimally invasive approach is used with the LINX reflux management device.The procedure is performed under general anesthesia so that the patient does not feel any pain. The surgery usually takes about an hour.
The LINX reflux management device is positioned around the esophagus just above the stomach. The LINX insertion surgery is performed laparoscopically, through small holes in the patient's body.
The LINX reflux management device is a small, flexible, ribbed chain that is secured around the gastric part of esophagus. Therefore, it does not require anatomical changes in the stomach. During the surgery, patients are under general anesthesia. Most patients go home and return to their usual diet in about a day after surgery for the LINX reflux management device installation.
The LINX reflux management device quickly relieves the symptoms of reflux disease. During a small laparoscopic operation ("keyhole technology"), the lower esophageal sphincter muscle is strengthened, quickly, and easily restoring its barrier function. The system can significantly improve the quality of life of patients.
With the LINX reflux management device, reflux symptoms can be quickly and easily treated, making life much easier for patients by relieving epigastric discomfort. Using a minimally invasive surgery, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle is strengthened, leading to complete restoration of the impaired barrier function.
This surgery is usually possible in almost all patients with reflux and associated symptoms. Doctors in Germany conduct thorough diagnostics for each patient to know exactly if the LINX reflux management system is suitable for him.
Typically, patients can resume their normal lifestyle in a week, and consume the foods that they like. Side effects are usually minimal and disappear over time.
Where can I undergo reflux esophagitis treatment in Germany?
Health tourism is becoming more and more popular these days, as a treatment in Germany, for example, often ensures a much better quality of reflux esophagitis treatment.
The following hospitals demonstrate the best success rates in reflux esophagitis treatment with the LINX system in Germany:
- Academic Hospital Regio Pinneberg
- Academic Hospital Brothers of Mercy Munich
- University Hospital of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
- Charite University Hospital Berlin
- University Hospital Ulm
- University Hospital RWTH Aachen
You can find more information about the hospitals in Germany on the Booking Health website.
The cost of treatment in Germany
The prices in hospitals listed on the Booking Health website are relatively low. With Booking Health, you can undergo reflux esophagitis treatment in Germany at an affordable price.
The cost of treatment in Germany varies, as the price depends on the hospital, specifics of the disease, and the complexity of its treatment.
The cost of treatment with the LINX reflux management system in Germany is in the range of 23,250-50,924 EUR.
You also need to consider the cost of possible additional procedures and follow-up care. Therefore, the ultimate cost of treatment in Germany may differ from the initial price.
To make sure that the overall cost of treatment in Germany is suitable for you, contact us by leaving the request on the Booking Health website.
How can I undergo reflux esophagitis treatment in Germany?
It is not easy to self-organize any treatment abroad. It requires certain knowledge and expertise. Thus, it is safer, easier, and less stressful to shift some responsibility onto a medical tourism agency.
As the largest and most transparent medical tourism agency in the world, Booking Health has up-to-date information about reflux esophagitis treatment in the best hospitals in Germany. Therefore, we will help you select the right clinic taking into account your wishes for treatment.
We want to help you and take on all the troubles. You can be free of unnecessary stress, while Booking Health takes care of all organizational issues regarding the treatment. Our services are aimed at you safely and successfully undergoing reflux esophagitis treatment.
Medical tourism can be easy! All you need to do is to leave a request on the Booking Health website, and our manager will contact you shortly.