Many people who suffer from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) may find themselves unable to deal with the pain, and end up visiting Accident and Emergency. This is exactly what happened to 36-year-old Anna Lavinas who was sent to A & E by her boss when he found her sitting at her desk, crying with the pain of her condition. At hospital, Anna, who had suffered from GORD since childhood, was put on double the usual dose of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication but still found little relief. The constant pain also had psychological effects; Anna felt that she was missing out on life – she was unable to go out for meals with her partner, couldn’t exercise or socialise with friends, missed out on events at work due to being unwell, and was frightened to go on holiday in case the change in lifestyle aggravated her condition.
Prior to her visit to A & E, Anna’s symptoms had gradually worsened until she found that she could only tolerate eating steamed vegetables, and she was eventually left unable to swallow. Anna tried to continue working in her job as Finance Executive for a digital media company but the pain became unbearable, resulting in her visit to Accident and Emergency. Hopeful that the treatment plan given to her by the hospital would work, Anna returned home and began the prescribed six-week liquid diet and double the usual maximum dose of PPI medication, but still her symptoms failed to abate – Anna was in agony, and the PPIs left her feeling bloated and unwell. Anna began researching the long-term effects of taking PPI medication, which led her to information about the LINX® Reflux Management System – a magnetic device that augments the weak lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), the ring of muscle at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach. When a person swallows, the magnetic bond temporarily breaks to allow food and drink to pass normally, but then the magnets close afterwards to restore the body’s natural barrier to the reflux of acid and bile. Anna discussed LINX with her gastroenterologist and was delighted to be told that she was a suitable candidate for the procedure, undergoing surgery at the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. The surgery was performed by consultant surgeon Mr Dhiren Nehra, who specialises in laparoscopic and general gastrointestinal surgery.
“Since having the surgery my life has changed dramatically – straight away, for the first time in ages I didn’t need to take any PPI medication at all! I’m still taking it slowly, but I can go out to restaurants and it feels amazing! Waking up in the morning I don’t have horrible symptoms, instead I’m happy and ready for the day – I can even look forward to the simple pleasure of having a coffee. My partner used to tease me that I was like a hermit, stuck at home, but now I’m making up for lost time – I can go out more, attend the company socials and even drink wine. We’re going to Mexico to an all-inclusive and I cannot wait. I’m finally getting to do what people normally do – be excited for life.”
The LINX® Reflux Management System is intended for patients diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Although many patients benefit from LINX, results vary. Each patient experience is unique and Torax Medical, Inc. does not provide any warranty or guarantee as to the response to LINX. Please talk to your doctor to see if LINX is right for you. Your doctor can discuss the benefits and risks with you. For safety information, please visit: www.toraxmedical.co.uk
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Take the first steps to a reflux-free life. Contact a centre near you to find out more about the LINX® reflux management system and the procedure.