New procedure said to be unique option for people who have acid reflux

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AKRON--Either you have experienced the debilitating pain or know someone who has.

"Just kind of start out real belchy, real bloated. And then, as years went on if I would eat certain foods you get a burning that comes up into your chest, into your throat."

Tina Stoffer is describing the condition called acid reflux.

Also known as GERD, it can be a painful, debilitating illness where in most severe cases, cannot be treated by medicine alone.

"Acid reflux is actually a physiologic thing where you have acid that's in your stomach normally, and it can go up into your esophagus."

Doctor Tyler Bedford, a bariatric and minimally invasive surgeon with Akron’s Summa Health is now offering a revolutionary solution for reflux disease called LINX.

A round, titanium device is a flexible ring of small magnets and through laparoscopic surgery, placed around the lower esophagus just above the stomach.

Bedford says while there are other procedures that are more aggressive to treat acid reflux, "….the difference with this is this actually allows people to clear gas to belch and vomit if they need to for whatever reason, if they get ill years down the road."

Patients are placed under general anesthesia during the procedure and most people go home the day after surgery and are able to resume a normal diet.

Tina Stoffer, a medical officer coordinator, took the more aggressive approach to cure her ailment, but says she will be urging loved ones to undergo this less invasive procedure, calling it a life-changer.

"Our body rejects things and vomiting is a big way to get rid of that so with the LINX you're still able to produce this and I think it's a big deal."

Doctors add the procedure is covered by most health insurance companies.

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