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SCH's innovative treatment for GERD marks first for RI (video)

Published 02/04/2022

On Monday, January 31, 2022, Dr. Jordan F. Hebert, South County Medical Group’s fellowship trained, minimally invasive surgeon, successfully completed the first LINX® procedure in Rhode Island on a patient who suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a digestive disorder that affects the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. In GERD patients, this muscle valve has weakened, allowing stomach acid to flow backwards into the esophagus, irritating the lining of the esophagus.

The esophagus is not designed to withstand these acid attacks and causes symptoms that can include:

• Heartburn after eating or during sleep
• Upper abdominal or chest pain
• Difficulty swallowing
• Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
• Food intolerance or sensitivity
• Chronic cough
• Excessive salivation
• Gas bloating
• Disrupted sleep

This innovative procedure uses a magnetic implant to assist the weakened valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. The body's natural valve should prevent stomach acids from entering and damaging the esophagus, however, its normal function becomes dysfunctional in GERD patients.

“Being the first surgeon in Rhode Island to perform this treatment was made possible by South County Health bringing the latest generation of diagnostic and therapeutic technology all under one roof,” Dr. Hebert said. “This procedure is a real game changer for patients suffering from GERD.”

To perform the procedure, Dr. Hebert used da Vinci XI robotic-assisted surgical technology, an advanced, minimally invasive technique designed to help the patient heal quickly with minimal discomfort.

Click here to view coverage by WJAR-TV 10's Health Check reporter, Barbara Morse >

Living with LINX®

Because the procedure does not require changes to the stomach anatomy, patients can resume their normal diet immediately after surgery.

Other surgical options for severe GERD include a procedure called fundoplication, which alters the anatomy of the stomach. While this option is suitable for some patients, there are side effects associated with fundoplication that many patients find chronically bothersome.

“I always strive to offer my patients the best surgical care options available, and that is why I decided to introduce this procedure to Rhode Island,” Dr. Hebert said. “Many of the side effects that patients report with a traditional fundoplication are avoided with LINX®.”

The safety and effectiveness of the LINX® implant are well documented in the medical community.

“While new to Rhode Island, this is actually a time-tested treatment with a long track record of excellent results throughout the United States. LINX® has been FDA approved for a decade now,” he said.

Achieving another milestone in innovative patient care

Innovation and medical technology has been a hallmark of South County Hospital for over a century. As a leader in robotic technology with Mako Smart Robotics for orthopedic hip and knee procedures, ExcelsiusGPS for orthopedic spine surgery, and da Vinci XI for general, urologic, gynecologic, and other minimally invasive surgeries, South County Hospital has received exceptional grades in hospital quality and patient experience from numerous third-party reporting agencies.

Today, patients who suffer from the discomforts of heartburn may find relief with this medical milestone for Rhode Island.

“LINX® now joins a long list of advanced surgical technologies unique to South County Health that allow me to offer my patients the best treatment options available anywhere,” Dr. Hebert said.

To learn more about LINX® as a surgical treatment option for GERD, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jordan Hebert.

South County Health
General Surgery
70 Kenyon Avenue, Suite 325
Wakefield, RI 02879
Phone: 401-284-1212