News Summary: Device helps treat chronic heartburn

News Summary: Tiny implanted magnetic 'bracelet' helps treat chronic heartburn

Associated Press

NEW DEVICE: A tiny magnetic bracelet implanted at the base of the throat is improving life for people with chronic heartburn who need more relief than medicine can give them. The illness plagues millions of Americans and can raise their risk for more serious health problems.

INTRODUCING LINX: The Linx device costs $5,000, and the operation to implant it can run $12,000 to $20,000, depending on hospital charges.

ABOUT THE DISEASE: Severe acid reflux happens when a weak muscle doesn't close after swallowing as it should, allowing stomach juices back into the throat. Drugs like Nexium and Prilosec reduce acid but don't fix the underlying problem.

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