Sleeping upright was the only way that 60-year-old Michael Mead seemed to be able to get any respite from symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), but it was a position that exacerbated an existing back condition, leaving Michael with no choice but to splash out over £1000 on a bed with a raised headrest.
Having lived with the symptoms of reflux since 1990, which included intense burning pain as acid travelled up into his oesophagus, Michael was eventually diagnosed with GORD and prescribed proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication, a class of drugs that work on the cells that line the stomach, reducing the production of acid. PPIs work well for some people, reducing symptoms to a manageable level or even stopping them altogether, but for others, they are ineffective or unsuitable. Michael found that PPIs worked well for a few years, but then his symptoms returned with a vengeance. Eating out with friends was a no-no; Michael’s GORD symptoms became worse if he ate garlic, which is an ingredient found in many dishes. Worried for Michael, one of his friends decided to search the internet for a cure for reflux, where he happened upon the minimally invasive 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.
Michael asked his GP to refer him for the procedure, but unfortunately, it was not yet available in his area. Michael waited a further 18 months for the NHS funding to go through, and is very glad that he did. The LINX procedure, which Michael underwent with Mr Abeezer Sarela, a consultant surgeon at St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds, has changed his life.
“I can honestly say it is the best decision I have ever made – I am so pleased that I waited for the funding. My only wish is that it had been available to me in 1991, so I wouldn’t have had to sleep sitting up for 26 years! I can now sleep in a position that is comfortable for my back – I suffer from a sciatic nerve problem and sitting up or lying very flat can aggravate it. I can now sleep soundly at night with no reflux symptoms whatsoever, and I have even come off the PPI medication. LINX has been amazing for me – I can now eat in the evening, enjoy fish and chips and curries, and I am very much looking forward to all those delicious dishes with garlic in them! I cannot thank the doctors and staff involved enough – this procedure has been a life changer for me.”
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.