National News

Apr 11, 2013 10:23 AM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Implanted 'bracelet' helps treat chronic heartburn


A tiny magnetic bracelet implanted at the base of the throat is helping some people with chronic heartburn who can't get enough relief from medicines. It's a novel way to treat severe acid reflux. That condition plagues millions of Americans and can raise their risk for more serious health problems.

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

The new device is made by a Minnesota company, Torax Medical Inc. The federal Food and Drug Administration approved it last year.

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

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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