LINX® magnetic esophageal sphincter augmentation versus Nissen fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Surg Endosc. 2017 Aug;31(8):3078-3084. doi: 10.1007/s00464-016-5370-3. Epub 2016 Dec 15.


Background: The LINX® magnetic sphincter augmentation system (MSA) is a surgical technique with short-term evidence demonstrating efficacy in the treatment of medically refractory or chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Currently, the Nissen fundoplication is the gold-standard surgical treatment for GERD. We are the first to systematically review the literature and perform a meta-analysis comparing MSA to the Nissen fundoplication.

Methods: A comprehensive search of electronic databases (e.g., MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library) using search terms "Gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn" and "LINX or endoluminal or magnetic" and "fundoplication or Nissen" was completed. All randomized controlled trials, non-randomized comparison study and case series with greater than 5 patients were included. Five hundred and forty-seven titles were identified through primary search, and 197 titles or abstracts were screened after removing duplicates. Meta-analysis was performed on postoperative quality of life outcomes, procedural efficacy and patient procedural satisfaction.

Results: Three primary studies identified a total of 688 patients, of whom 273 and 415 underwent Nissen fundoplication and MSA, respectively. MSA was statistically superior to LNF in preserving patient's ability to belch (95.2 vs 65.9%, p < 0.00001) and ability to emesis (93.5 vs 49.5%, p < 0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference between MSA and LNF in gas/bloating (26.7 vs 53.4%, p = 0.06), postoperative dysphagia (33.9 vs 47.1%, p = 0.43) and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) elimination (81.4 vs 81.5%, p = 0.68).

Conclusion: Magnetic sphincter augmentation appears to be an effective treatment for GERD with short-term outcomes comparable to the more technically challenging and time-consuming Nissen fundoplication. Long-term comparative outcome data past 1 year are needed in order to further understand the efficacy of magnetic sphincter augmentation.

Keywords: Fundoplication; GERD; Magnetic sphincter augmentation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Deglutition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Eructation
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / surgery*
  • Fundoplication / methods*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Heartburn / drug therapy
  • Heartburn / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Magnets*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors