Implanted Device Helps Treat Chronic Heartburn

(April 11, 2013)--A tiny magnetic bracelet that’s implanted at the base of the throat is helping some people with chronic heartburn who can’t get relief through medication.

It’s a novel way to treat severe acid reflux, which plagues millions of Americans and can raise the risk for more serious health problems.

It happens when a weak muscle doesn't close after swallowing as it should, which lets stomach juices splash back into the throat.

The new device is made by a Minnesota company, Torax Medical Inc.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it last year.

The device, a ring of titanium beads with magnets inside, is placed around the weak muscle at the base of the esophagus in a half-hour operation.

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