3 The procedure
3.1 The aim of laparoscopic insertion of a magnetic titanium ring for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is to provide relief of reflux-related symptoms without impeding the ability to swallow, belch or vomit, and with less morbidity than traditional anti-reflux surgery.
3.2 The procedure is done with the patient under general anaesthesia. Using a laparoscopic approach, a specially designed sizing tool is loosely wrapped around the distal oesophagus to assess the size of implant needed. The sizing tool is then removed and the implant is placed so that it encircles the distal oesophagus at the gastro-oesophageal junction. The ends of the implant are secured together to hold it in place. Intraoperative endoscopy may be used to check that the implant is correctly positioned.
3.3 The implant consists of a ring of interlinked titanium beads, each with a weak magnetic force that holds the beads together to keep the distal oesophagus closed. When the patient swallows, the magnetic force is overcome, allowing the ring to open. After swallowing, magnetic attraction brings the beads together and the distal oesophagus is again closed.