Newswise — Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, both part of Hackensack Meridian Health, are participating in a trial for individuals who suffer from GERD and troublesome symptoms like heartburn or regurgitation. Hackensack Meridian Health is one of the only organizations in the mid-Atlantic to offer this clinical trial.

Common symptoms of reflux include burning sensation in the chest, chest pain, feeling like something is stuck in the throat, bitter taste in the mouth, regurgitation, and dry cough.

“Reflux can lead to potentially serious complications, including Barrett's esophagus, which is a pre-cancer, and esophageal cancer,” says Ghulam Abbas, M.D., Medical Director, Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery at Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Community Hospital. Dr. Abbas is part of Meridian Cancer Care, also part of Hackensack Meridian Health, a leader in the country for the comprehensive treatment of esophageal diseases.

The clinical trial involves the LINX Reflux Management System, which is an FDA-approved device. The device is a small band made of titanium beads with magnetic cores placed around the esophagus, just above the stomach. The LINX strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), preventing the sphincter from staying open after eating and stomach acid entering the esophagus. The clinical trial compares the outcome of patients receiving LINX to patients receiving a twice daily dose of Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) therapy, called Prilosec. It was designed for patients that have not found relief for their GERD symptoms despite taking once a day PPI’s.

LINX is implanted during a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure which requires no alteration to the stomach. The titanium beads open and close to let food down, and it preserves normal function so you can belch or vomit as needed. It helps to reduce gas and bloating, does not require dietary changes in most patients, and 87% of patients have found that they no longer need medication after having the LINX procedure.

Eligible participants will receive all study-related medicine, study device and study-related care at no cost. Individuals who are not eligible may still explore options to receive the device outside of the clinical trial.

To learn more about the LINX clinical trial and to determine if you are a candidate for the trial, call the office of Clinical Research located at Jersey Shore University Medical Center at 732-776-3198.

About Hackensack Meridian HealthHackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers - HackensackUMC in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals - Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, HackensackUMC Mountainside in Montclair, HackensackUMC Palisades in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley in Westwood.

To learn more, visit