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3 Innovative Health Treatments That Produce Results

Posted September 11, 2023

Compas pointing to the word innovation

Summa Health is on a mission to provide the highest quality, compassionate care to our patients and members and to contribute to a healthier community.

One way we are achieving our mission is by continually incorporating the latest innovative treatments and procedures to improve patient outcomes and their quality of life. While standard treatments and medications are at the core of our care plan, we also stand at the forefront of some of the latest measures that treat the root cause, rather than just the symptoms.

Learn more about three health treatments we offer that are producing favorable results for a variety of common conditions, including acid reflux, sleep apnea and depression, to see if they might be right for you. It’s our commitment to you to offer personalized care and to serve with passion.

LINX Reflux Management System

For gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), there are several medications available to control or suppress acid production in the stomach. However, these drugs don’t actually address the cause of GERD: a weak sphincter muscle.

To prevent acid reflux in the first place, Summa Health is one of the first in the area to offer the LINX Reflux Management System. It’s a safe and effective treatment for GERD and has proven to eliminate dependence on medication, while improving patients’ quality of life.

LINX is a flexible bracelet of small magnets about the size of a quarter. Through a minimally invasive surgical procedure that lasts about an hour, LINX is placed around the lower esophagus, just above the stomach, to compress the sphincter. Unlike other procedures, LINX requires no alteration to the stomach, reduces gas and bloating, and preserves the ability to belch and vomit.

The most common side effect is discomfort or difficulty swallowing, which is often temporary and a normal part of the healing process. Patients are encouraged to return to a normal diet as soon as tolerated and are generally able to return to non-strenuous activity within a couple of days.

While designed to be a lifelong treatment, LINX can be removed using a minimally invasive procedure that generally lasts less than an hour. Moreover, it doesn’t limit your future treatment options.

Talk to your doctor to see if LINX might be right for you. You can schedule an appointment with a Summa Health gastroenterologist by calling 330.761.1111.

INSPIRE surgery for sleep apnea

Millions of people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), characterized by dangerous disruptions in breathing during sleep and frequent awakenings. There are many treatment options available, from lifestyle changes to dental appliances to the CPAP, or a continuous positive airway pressure device. But for moderate to severe cases, these treatments aren’t always effective.

For these patients, Summa Health offers the INSPIRE solution to treat the root cause of OSA. The surgical treatment uses an FDA-approved implantable device that prevents the tongue from blocking the airway.

During the minimally invasive procedure, surgeons implant a stimulator under the skin on the right side of the chest with electrodes tunneled under the skin to the hypoglossal nerve in the neck and to intercostal muscles (between two ribs) in the chest. With each breath, the device stimulates the hypoglossal nerve to force the tongue to move forward out of the airway and keeps the patient breathing freely — and sleeping soundly.

INSPIRE surgery is generally an outpatient procedure, although some patients may require a one-night stay in the hospital for monitoring. This procedure, which takes about two to three hours, is done under general anesthesia.

Patients may experience mild discomfort the first few days and some scarring, but most report minimal pain. Side effects are usually mild and may include pain or swelling at the incision site and tongue soreness. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities after a few days.

Once healed, patients meet with their physician to establish their personal stimulation settings and learn how to use the INSPIRE sleep remote.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Summa Health’s Sleep Medicine specialists at 330.996.7711.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

For patients with major depressive disorder who have not achieved remission through typical treatment methods, such as therapy and antidepressants, Summa Health offers patients Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to treat depression at its source.

Brain activity is reduced in a person suffering from depression. TMS is a safe and effective FDA-approved procedure that uses magnetic fields, similar to that of an MRI, to stimulate the natural function of the brain’s neurotransmitters for long-lasting symptom relief. What’s more, it’s drug free and non-invasive.

During treatment, sensors are placed on a patient’s head and repetitive painless magnetic pulses are sent to stimulate nerve cells in the region of the brain involved in mood control and depression to improve symptoms.

Treatment is typically five days a week for four to six weeks. Each treatment takes about 20 to 45 minutes with no anesthesia required. The most common side effect is temporary pain or discomfort at or near the treatment site. Patients are encouraged to continue to see their psychiatrist, therapist and primary care physician as scheduled during and following treatment.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Summa Health’s Behavioral Health Institute at 330.379.8190.


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