Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Font Size

FDA Panel Backs New Device for Chronic Heartburn

LINX Would Be Used in Patients With GERD That Doesn’t Respond to Drugs

Clinical Trial Patients Had Suffered From GERD for Years continued...

The acid level in the patients’ esophagus was assessed before and 12 months after LINX was implanted via minimally invasive “keyhole” surgery. Just over half of the patients saw their acid level fall by at least one-half.

Improvement on a subjective quality-of-life assessment -- which asked such questions as when and how often heartburn occurred and whether it kept them up at night -- was even greater, both at 12 months and 24 months after surgery, Venkataraman-Rao said.

But because the study did not have a comparison group that did not get the device, there’s “no way of knowing whether subjects would have improved on their own,” Venkataraman-Rao said.

Three-quarters of the implanted patients experienced side effects, the most common being difficulty swallowing, which in some cases took six months or more to resolve, she said. The second most common side effect, reported by a quarter of the patients, was pain. The implant had to be removed from five of the patients.

Because LINX is magnetic, patients who might need MRI scans would not be eligible to have it implanted.

Torax says it plans to conduct a follow-up study of 200 patients to confirm the device’s long-term safety and effectiveness.

Advisory committee member Steven Schwaitzberg, MD, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard, urged that the company follow patients for at least 10 years. “I think it’s going to be an obligation that we have to the public,” Schwaitzberg said.

“I’m really worried about safety,” he said, noting that LINX could stay in some patients for as long as half a century.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
digestive health
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
digestive myths
Extreme Eats
graphic of esophageal area