New surgery available at LewisGale for heartburn and acid reflux sufferers

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - If you are a heartburn or acid reflux sufferer, a new surgery is now available at LewisGale that's offering permanent relief.

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Doctors at LewisGale Regional Health System are the first providers to perform the procedure in Southwest Virginia, and report that patients have been very pleased with their results.

"Everything went well. The surgery was done on an outpatient basis. I was kept one night for observation. It went so well I never needed any pain medication other than what they gave me in the surgery itself," said Michael Parish, a patient who had the surgery just a few weeks ago.

“With this new procedure – magnetic sphincter augmentation – we install a flexible ring about the size of a quarter and made of small, magnetic titanium beads around the LES during a minimally invasive procedure," said Dr. Pasley.

“The magnets’ strength helps keep the weak LES closed to prevent acid reflux, and works in harmony with the body to assist the sphincter without compressing the esophagus, thereby preserving the ability to swallow and belch.”

To date, more than 20,000 magnetic sphincter augmentation procedures have been performed nationwide, with the FDA first approving the medical device in 2012.

The surgery takes about 30 minutes to an hour under general anesthesia and is minimally invasive through small incisions in the abdomen, enabling patients to go home the same day or the next and resume their normal activities – including eating and drinking.

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