WVU Medicine’s thoracic surgeons use the latest in surgical treatments for diseases of the esophagus and lung. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained thoracic surgeons treat a variety of diseases that include achalasia, Barrett’s esophagus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), esophageal cancer, hyperhidrosis, lung cancer, lung failure, and thoracic outlet syndrome.

Our thoracic surgical team uses the latest surgical techniques, including minimally invasive procedures and robotically assisted procedures, to focus on problems that involve the airway, chest, and esophagus, including:

  • Emphysema
  • Lung Failure
  • Tracheal Stenosis

Chest Cancers

  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Mesothelioma

Chest-related Problems

  • Pectus excavatum
  • Pericardial effusions
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pneumothorax
  • Rib abnormalities

Swallowing Problems

  • Achalasia
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Esophageal diverticulum
  • Esophagitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) View LINX
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Swallowing problems associated with Myasthenia gravis


  • Hyperhidrosis

Our thoracic surgeons also use the latest in screening techniques and surgical procedures, including:

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Bronchus surgery
  • Clagget’s Window
  • Epigastric hernia repair
  • Esophageal surgery
  • Heller myotomy
  • Hiatal hernia repair
  • Laparoscopic antireflux surgery
  • Lobectomy
  • Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
  • Mediastinal surgery
  • Pericardial Window
  • POEM (Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy)
  • Robotically assisted lung resection surgery
  • Surgical treatment of hyperhydrosis
  • Thoracentesis
  • Thymectomy
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

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For an appointment, visit our appointment information page, or call 855-WVU-CARE (855-988-2273).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

LINX®: A solution for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

LINX® Reflux Management System, actual size

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by a weak muscle in the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscle acts as a one-way valve, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach while preventing backflow into the esophagus. When the LES weakens, harmful stomach acid and bile can flow in the wrong direction and cause damage to the esophagus.

More than 20 million Americans are currently taking medication to control their gastroesophageal reflux disease. About 40 percent of patients on medication for GERD still have symptoms. While medications can often provide some relief, they do not treat the muscle weakness that causes GERD.

Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD but not the only one:

    • Dental erosion and bad breath
    • Change in voice
    • Cough
    • Hoarseness
    • Sore throat
    • Asthma
    • Shortness of breath
    • Heartburn
    • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
    • Chest pain
    • Regurgitation


LINX® Reflux Management System: A minimally-invasive solution

The LINX device, roughly the same diameter as a quarter, is a small, flexible ring of magnets that opens to allow food and liquid to pass down and then closes to prevent stomach contents from moving up.

How is LINX implanted?

LINX is implanted using a surgical technique called laparoscopy. This technique uses small incisions in the abdominal wall to access the area around the esophagus where the device will be placed.

When can I start eating normally again?

Patients are encouraged to return to a normal diet as quickly as can be tolerated. This helps the body adapt to LINX.

When can I return to normal physical activities?

Patients are generally able to return to nonstrenuous activity within a couple of days.

Will I be able to belch or vomit with LINX?

LINX preserves normal physiological function so you can belch or vomit as needed. The titanium beads open and close to let food down, and if it needs to come up, it can.

How long will LINX last?

LINX is designed for a lifetime. The device is constructed of titanium, and the permanent magnets mean LINX will be working for you for the long haul.

Diana explains how after 15 years of chronic cough and reflux, Dr. Ghulam Abbas of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute helped her find relief with the LINX Reflux Management System.

If you’re suffering with GERD or are experiencing symptoms of GERD, talk to your primary care provider or call (855) WVU-CARE for an appointment.

Ghulam Abbas, MD


Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery, Surgical Director of Thoracic Oncology
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, WVU Cancer Institute
View Profile855-WVU-CARE

Jeremiah Hayanga, MD, MPH, FACS


Thoracic Surgeon
WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital
View Profile855-WVU-CARE