July 2013 | Monthly news from the University of Nevada School of Medicine

Inside Nevada Medicine

New, less invasive surgical treatment for GERD now offered at School of Medicine

Las Vegas surgeon Dr. Shawn Tsuda.Dr. Shawn Tsuda, assistant professor of surgery and chief of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, is now certified in the LINX Reflux Management System.

Dr. Tsuda is the first and only surgeon in Nevada with this certification.

The LINX system is a procedure that helps augment the lower esophageal sphincter for patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as heartburn.

GERD, a chronic digestive disease, occurs when stomach acid flows back into your esophagus causing acid reflux and heartburn. GERD occurs at least twice a week or more frequently. Changes to diet and over-the-counter medications may offer some relief, but typically discomfort persists. In some cases, surgery is required to treat GERD.

The standard surgical treatment for GERD involves wrapping a portion of the stomach around the esophagus to reinforce the weakened lower esophageal sphincter. It is typically effective, but potential limitations include complications such as difficulty swallowing, gas bloat and an inability to belch or vomit; loss of effectiveness over time; and a recovery period lasting several days.

The LINX system does not require anatomical alteration of the stomach. Patients are placed under general anesthesia during the procedure, which typically lasts less than an hour. Most patients can go home the day after surgery and resume a normal diet. The LINX procedure has been shown to be safe and effective in patients with GERD.

Dr. Tsuda consults at the Patient Care Center at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas. To schedule an appointment, call 702-671-5150.