Information for the public

This procedure seems to work well in the short term, but it is not clear whether it works well in the long term (after about 5 years) for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. It can be used, but only when patients have regular checks to see how well it is working or if it has caused problems. This is because of uncertainties about its long-term effects.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is when acid leaks from the stomach into the oesophagus (gullet) because the sphincter (ring of muscle) around the top of the stomach isn’t working properly. In this procedure, which is done under a general anaesthetic, a small flexible band of interlinked magnetic beads is placed around the outside of the lower oesophagus, just above the stomach. The aim is that the magnetic attraction between the beads will help to keep the sphincter closed to prevent acid reflux, but still allow the person to swallow, belch or vomit.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2583-4

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