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Peter – 34, suffered from reflux so extreme he thought he was having a heart attack

Peter, a Sheffield-based administrator, first noticed reflux symptoms in 2009 and put up with them for a while thinking they were caused by vocal stress from his singing in a punk band. At first he tried over-the-counter antacid treatments, but when the symptoms persisted he went to see his GP who couldn’t work out what was wrong. The situation came to a head when the pain became so severe Peter thought he was having a heart attack and took himself to his local Accident & Emergency Department.

After undergoing tests he was diagnosed with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), and prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of medication that reduce the production of acid, thereby easing the symptoms of reflux. Unfortunately for Peter, they didn’t really work and produced torturous side effects on his digestion.

For the next few years Peter tried several PPI medications as well as lifestyle changes but nothing really stopped his symptoms. He was constantly feeling unwell and very depressed. His GP told him that the only other option was to undergo a surgical procedure called fundoplication, a non-reversible solution that involves wrapping the top part of the stomach around the lower end of the oesophagus to reinforce the weak lower oesophageal sphincter.

Unsure, Peter then carried out his own research and came across the LINX® Reflux Management System. He saw that the procedure was minimally invasive, reversible and available on the NHS in some areas, which reassured him. The procedure involves implanting a small, flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores around the weak sphincter, just above the stomach, preventing reflux.

Peter was thrilled to discover his GP was happy to refer him to Consultant GI surgeon Mr Dhiren Nehra at Epsom and St Helier University Hospital and he underwent the procedure. Since having LINX fitted in 2014, he has been free from the constant burning pain of GORD and has the spring back in his step again.

“The LINX procedure has changed my life; I feel so fortunate to have been able to have it done. Just a week after the procedure I noticed the effects of it, and I was able to stop taking my medication. Occasionally I need to take over-the-counter antacids, but nowhere near as frequently as before. I felt so happy and confident after the procedure that I’ve even embarked on a new career. I have moved house, reignited my social life, and I am getting married next year.”

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