Lower Esophageal Sphincter Augmentation for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: The Safety of a Modern Implant

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2017 Jun;27(6):586-591. doi: 10.1089/lap.2017.0025. Epub 2017 Apr 21.


Introduction: Use of the magnetic sphincter augmentation device (MSAD) for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is increasing. As this innovative treatment for GERD gains widespread use and adoption, an assessment of its safety since U.S. market introduction is presented.

Methods: Events were collected from the Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database, which reports events submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of suspected device-associated deaths, serious injuries, and malfunctions. The reporting period was from March 22, 2012 (FDA approval) through May 31, 2016, and included only events occurring in the United States. Additional information was provided by the manufacturer, allowing calculation of implant rates and durations.

Results: An estimated 3283 patients underwent magnetic sphincter augmentation (165 surgeons at 191 institutions). The median implant duration was 1.4 years, with 1016 patients implanted for at least 2 years. No deaths, life-threatening events, or device malfunctions were reported. The overall rate of device removal was 2.7% (89/3283). The most common reasons for device removal were dysphagia (52/89) and persistent reflux symptoms (19/89). Removal for erosion and migration was 0.15% (5/3283) and 0% (0/3283), respectively. There were no perforations. Of the device removals, 57.3% (51/89) occurred <1 year after implant, 30.3% (27/89) between 1 and 2 years, and 12.4% (11/89) >2 years after implant. The rate of device removal and erosion with an implant duration >2 years were 1.1% (11/1016) and 0.1% (1/1016), respectively. All device removals and erosions were managed nonemergently, with no complications or long-term consequences.

Conclusions: During a 4-year period in more than 3000 patients, no unanticipated MSAD complications have emerged, and there is no data to suggest a trend of increased events over time. The presentation and management of device-related issues have been less complicated than revisions for laparoscopic fundoplication or other interventions for GERD. MSAD is considered safe for the widespread treatment of GERD.

Keywords: antireflux surgery; complications; gastroesophageal reflux disease; lower esophageal sphincter; outcomes; safety.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Databases, Factual
  • Device Removal / statistics & numerical data
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / surgery*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Magnets
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States