A tiny magnetic bracelet implanted at the base of the throat is greatly improving life for some people with chronic heartburn who need more help than medicine can give them.
It's a novel way to treat severe acid reflux, which plagues millions of Americans and can raise their risk for more serious health problems. It happens when a weak muscle doesn't close after swallowing as it should. That lets stomach juices splash back into the throat.
Drugs such as Nexium and Prilosec reduce acid. But they don't fix the underlying problem, called GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Tricia Carr, who worried she would develop complications like the one that killed her mother, got help from the new device, approved a year ago by the Food and Drug Administration and also sold in Europe.