If you are one of the 20 million Americans who suffers from heartburn, you may be in luck. A new, implantable device called Linx is now on the market to help people who have issues with heartburn, also known as acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), avoid taking medication.

Unlike medication, which address heartburn symptoms by attempting to level out acid in the body after the fact, this new piece of technology aims to help fight the underlying cause of acid reflux: weak muscles above the stomach which allow acid to seep into the esophagus. This can cause pain, discomfort, and actually burn the esophagus leading to intense pain when swallowing food or liquids.

The ring is made up of tiny magnets that are contained within titanium beads, held together like a bracelet. It is surgically implanted in the lower esophageal spincter — the muscle that opens and closes the esophagus. The magnets reinforce weak muscles that are supposed to keep the connection between the stomach and esophagus closed when food isn't passing through.

The device costs $5,000 and the operation itself can cost between $12,000 and $20,000 depending on where the surgery is performed.

A study of 100 patients who had untreatable acid reflux for over 10 years and were treated with the ring was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. After the implant, the acidity of their throats decreased dramatically and there was improvement in reported quality of life in over 92 percent of the subjects. Eighty-six percent of patients no longer needed to take acid lowering medications after one year.

The device is available in 24 states and a full list of facilities can be found here.