Heartburn Center of California Press Kit (10 mb file)

John Muir Health Among First in U.S. to Use Innovative Technology for Lung Cancer Diagnosis

FDA-Approved Robotic-Assisted Bronchoscopy Could Enable Earlier and More-Accurate Diagnosis of Lung Nodules

Concord, Calif. (October 14, 2020) – During these challenging times, we are committed to providing our patients with not only safe and quality care, but also the latest technology to identify disease earlier and improve their health. The newest innovation to come to John Muir Health holds the promise of helping to fight lung cancer. The Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform enables earlier and more-accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.

Read more…

John Muir Health Designated as a Mentor Site for Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Concord Medical Center to serve as first Foregut Mentor Site in California

CONCORD, Calif. (Dec. 19, 2019) – In recognition of John Muir Health’s long-standing commitment to innovation and advancement of patient care, the health system’s Concord Medical Center has been designated as a Foregut Mentor Site for da Vinci® Xi Surgical System robotic procedures. The foregut is the section of the upper gastrointestinal tract that includes the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver and bile ducts.

As one of five foregut mentor sites in the country and the first in California, John Muir Health will host surgeons from across the United States to observe and study robotic-assisted surgeries under the guidance of Wilson Tsai, MD, co-medical director of the Thoracic Surgical Program. Dr. Tsai has performed more than 600 robotic-assisted surgeries. He was selected along with John Muir Health based on a demonstrated commitment to positive patient outcomes and substantial experience in foregut procedures.

Read more…

Dr. Wilson Tsai of Bass Medical Group discusses the dangers of vaping

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) – Health authorities announced Friday they are investigating Los Angeles County’s first known death associated with vaping a marijuana product, and 10 other cases of lung injury have been reported that are potentially linked to the use of cannabis vapes.

To watch the video and read the full report, click here

Dr. Wilson Tsai on Dangers of Teen Vaping

Dr. Wilson Tsai explains the dangers of teen vaping on the Bay Area’s KTVU Plus evening news.

As seen on:

KTVU Plus - Dangers of Teen Vaping

LINX now available without insurance at Heartburn Center of California

Collaboration between the Heartburn Center of California, BASS Medical Group and Torax Inc.

LINXWalnut Creek, CA, September 11, 2018:  The Heartburn Center of California is proud to announce that it has negotiated a flat rate for the LINX procedure treating eligible patients suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). LINX is a simple, FDA approved, minimally invasive solution alternative to continuous acid suppression therapy. Although LINX has been approved by the FDA since 2012 and has been used to treat 16,000 patients, insurance companies often take months to approve the procedure. Unfortunately, for many patients diagnosed with GERD, to continue suffering from severe heartburn, lack of sleep and overall wellness due to the pain and discomfort caused by acid backing up into the esophagus, the idea of waiting months for insurance approval is not an option. Read more…

Group Pushes for FDA Warnings on Acid Reflux Medications

A group in Southern California said many people suffering from acid reflux are unaware it can cause cancer, and those who do know may believe over-the-counter heartburn medications reduce their risk of developing cancer. Read more…

Study Examines the Silent Side Effects of Heartburn Medications

A new study has found that half of the people who developed kidney damage from prescription heartburn medications showed no obvious warning signs.

BAY AREA PEOPLE Esophageal Cancer Detection

Co-Director of Thoracic’s at John Muir, Dr. Wilson Tsai, demonstrates the new technology that could find esophageal cancer sooner

Source: BAY AREA PEOPLE Esophageal Cancer Detection as seen on KTVU Fox 2

Cellvizio® Endorsed by the American Society of General Surgeons as Integral to the Care of Patients with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Barrett’s Esophagus

PARIS and CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, September 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —Cellvizio - laser endomicroscopy Barrett's esophagus

Mauna Kea Technologies (Euronext: MKEA, OTCQX: MKEAY) inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy platform, today announced that the American Society of General Surgeons (ASGS) endorsed Cellvizio® as integral to the comprehensive assessment and therapeutic decisions for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The Position Statement from the ASGS will be available on the ASGS website. Read more…

Heartburn Center of California Recognizes National Nurses Week

Honoring nurses everywhere for their indispensable partnership in patient care.2016 National Nurses Week

Walnut Creek, CA, May 6, 2016: Heartburn Center of California recognizes the invaluable service of nurses across our nation during National Nurses Week. Beginning May 6 and ending May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the person considered to be the founder of modern nursing, nurses are honored for their patient advocacy, care and support of medical practitioners everywhere.

Our nurses are an integral part of the patient’s experience from their initial visit, through treatment and recovery,” said Wilson Tsai, MD, Director, Heartburn Center of California. “During hospitalization, they are with our patients around the clock ensuring that they are as comfortable as possible, receive the treatment that they need and advocate on their behalf. Their support is essential in our day-to-day care,” he continued. Read More…

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt

HCSC Establishes Positive Coverage Policy for Torax Medical’s LINX Procedure to Treat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Torax Medical, Inc., a leader in devices to treat sphincter-related diseases, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), announced today that Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the 4thlargest commercial health insurer in the U.S., has issued a medical coverage policy for the LINX® Reflux Management System effective April 1, 2016.

HCSC, through its affiliates of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross Blue Shield ofNew Mexico, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, will make the LINX procedure available to its approximately 15 million members in the treatment of GERD as an alternative to surgical fundoplication. Read More… 

April: Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, Stop It Before It Starts

By Dr. David Limauro | Posted: Monday, April 4, 2016 12:06 pmCommunity Health Logo

Esophageal cancer is among the most deadly of all cancers. Unfortunately, once it has been diagnosed, frequently it has already spread to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs or bone. If the cancer has spread in this manner, even with treatment, there is only a 5% chance of survival beyond five years.

There are two forms of esophageal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma types. While squamous cell esophageal cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking and alcohol use, adenocarcinoma has a much weaker association with smoking, and alcohol (in moderation) may be protective. Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus has been one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in the United States over the past 30 years. This form of esophageal cancer is strongly associated with gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and Barrett’s esophagus. Read More…

Popular Heartburn Pills Can Be Hard To Stop, And May Be Risky

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt

American Medical Association Creates New Category 1 Code for
Torax Medical’s LINX Procedure to Treat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Torax Medical, Inc., a leader in therapeutic interventions for sphincter-related diseases, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), announced today the American Medical Association (AMA) has created a new Category 1 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Code for esophageal sphincter augmentation using the LINX® Reflux Management System effective January 1, 2017. The LINX device is placed with a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure and is intended to restore control of abnormal reflux. Read More…

New 5-Year Results of a Landmark Study Confirm LINX Procedure as a Beneficial Treatment for Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease

Study authors conclude LINX should be a first line therapy option for GERD sufferers

PR Newswire, St. Paul, Minn. (September 14, 2015)
Torax Medical announced completion of a landmark study confirming the long-term results of theLINX LINX® Reflux Management System in controlling reflux-related symptoms and eliminating dependence on acid suppression medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Findings from the clinical study demonstrated that the LINX procedure normalized the amount of acid in the esophagus, while safely and effectively relieving heartburn and regurgitation, and improving quality of life without the need for PPIs. The LINX device was approved by the FDA in early 2012 and is currently the only medical device approved by the FDA to be safe and effective for the treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Read More…

New Study Demonstrates LINX® Safety and linx_logoEfficacy Rivals Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication

July 27, 2015 05:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Torax Medical, Inc. announced today the release of new data from the University of Southern California, Keck Medical Center, a leading institution in the diagnosis and treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The retrospective study led by Dr. John C. Lipham, compared the LINX® Reflux Management System (LINX) to the standard of care, Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication (LNF) in similar patient populations. The results demonstrated LINX is as effective as LNF in controlling reflux but with less side effects. When compared to LNF for side effects, LINX patients reported less severe gas and bloating, while maintaining the ability to belch and vomit. Read more…

Torax Medical Announces FDA Approval of a New LINX® Device Compatible with 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Systems

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Torax Medical, Inc. is pleased to announce that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a next generation LINX® Reflux Management System that is MR conditional in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems up to 1.5 Tesla (1.5T), which represents about 90% of MRI systems in use in the U.S. The LINX 1.5T design contains a different grade of magnets that have a higher resistance to being demagnetized when subjected to external magnetic fields (i.e. MRI). Read more…

Final Results of a Landmark 5-Year Clinical Trial for LINX®, a Revolutionary Solution for GERD, to Be Presented at the Upcoming Digestive Diseases Week Meeting

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Torax Medical is pleased to announce the 5-year results from a landmark clinical trial of LINX®, a revolutionary solution for GERD, will be presented at the upcoming Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) being held in Washington, DC from May 16th – 20th. READ MORE…

Signs You Could Have ‘Silent Reflux’

That chronic cough may not be what it seems.Cough US News

By Chai Woodham | 

Does the thought of a plate full of pasta drenched in tomato sauce sound delicious or make you wince? For those living with heartburn, door No. 2 is typically true.

An antacid may be a quick fix, but for many folks, that burning chest pain is a constant complaint and could be a symptom of a chronic condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, where acid and partially digested food from the stomach make their way back into the esophagus, the tube connecting the stomach to the throat. READ MORE…

Common heartburn drugs linked to kidney failure in the elderly

Reuters Health | Thu Apr 16, 2015 by Lisa Rapaport

Research_368x245Older patients taking drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, a common remedy for heartburn and acid reflux, are two times more likely to be hospitalized with kidney failure than peers who don’t take the pills, a study finds.

While the side effect is extremely rare, and the study doesn’t prove the drugs cause kidney failure, the association is worrisome because tens of millions of people a year take these pills, sold by prescription and over-the-counter in some countries, with brand names including Prilosec, Prevacid and Zegerid. READ MORE…

How to Tell If You Have Acid Reflux

Think you have acid reflux? You may not. Plus—the latest on treating chronic heartburn.

By Robin Tricoles | Published January 13, 2015 – WashingtonianBSIP SA : Alamy

Millions of Americans take over-the-counter medications for acid reflux. The problem is many don’t have acid reflux.

According to Caren Palese, a gastroenterologist in DC, more than half of the patients who are referred to her with acid-reflux symptoms that haven’t improved with proton-pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Nexium—which reduce acid production—don’t have the condition at all. READ MORE…

When Heartburn Becomes Cancer

Heartburn may seem inconsequential, but it could signal a much bigger problem.


For most people, heartburn is a fleeting annoyance that can be solved by popping an antacid. And for a while, that’s what Jay Rensberger did. But when his heartburn became less of a temporary problem and more of a lifestyle issue, his wife took action. READ MORE…

GERD: A Growing Epidemic*

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:42

By Wilson Tsai, M.D. • Special to the TimesGERD: A Growing Epidemic

As families gather for Thanksgiving dinner this week, about one in five of us will approach the meal with some trepidation because of the potential for heartburn.

It is estimated that one in five Americans suffers from heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Symptoms of GERD include discomfort, regurgitation, sore throat, persistent cough and even chest pain, and can interfere with sleep or everyday activities.

Heartburn should not be ignored. Not only can it negatively affect your quality of life, it can lead to more serious conditions, including esophageal cancer, the fastest growing type of cancer in the United States today. READ MORE…

Heartburn Center of California raising awareness about GERD during 16th Annual National GERD AWARENESS WEEK, November 23-29th

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a lifelong disease affecting up to one in five adults in the United States

Walnut Creek, CA — November 12, 2014National GERD Awareness week takes place every year during the week of Thanksgiving – a time when many Americans may experience heartburn associated with overeating. However, if heartburn occurs more frequently, or is associated with symptoms other than heartburn, it may be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a lifelong disease that affects up to one in five adults in the United States. READ MORE…

First in Kind Heartburn Center of California established to combat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

A chronic and often progressive ailment affecting 1 out of 5 people

Walnut Creek, CA — October 14, 2014Dr. Wilson Tsai, in partnership with Bay Area Surgical Specialists (BASS) announces the establishment of the Heartburn Center of California to combat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a chronic and often progressive disease affecting 64 million Americans. The visionary and holistic approach of diagnosing and treating the disease at the Heartburn Center of California goes beyond addressing the symptoms of GERD, but looks to diagnose the cause and treat the condition at the source. READ MORE…

That burning sensation: What you need to know about heartburn

July 29, 2014

If you’ve ever experienced heartburn – also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD – you know how uncomfortable it can be. [Twenty percent of Americans* are affected by] GERD. Besides heartburn, GERD symptoms can fall into two categories. Typical symptoms include regurgitation, bloating, or an acidic taste in the back of the mouth. Less common symptoms include asthma, persistent coughing, shortness of breath and even recurrent pneumonia. These less frequent symptoms are often misdiagnosed and the root cause never recognized. READ MORE…