Where most people assume acid reflux is always very painful, Terrence, a retired IT Sales Director from East Molesey, is one of many who had it without realising. The fact it was a silent condition could have resulted in major problems for Terrence, who already suffered from the chronic condition small airways disease, which is thought to affect more than 3 million people in the UK.
Reading about how acid levels could have an effect on his condition, he went to see Mr Marcus Reddy at Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon. It was here tests showed his acid levels were worryingly high and he was told this could result in permanent scarring, which, coupled with his condition, could see further closing of his airways.
Terrence was given a few options including taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of medication that reduce the production of acid but has been documented to have potential long-term side effects, traditional fundoplication surgery, in which part of his stomach would be wrapped around his oesophagus, or the LINX® Reflux Management System.
The LINX ‘bracelet’ comprises a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. Using laparoscopic or keyhole surgery, the device is implanted around the weak oesophageal sphincter just above the stomach, preventing reflux. The magnetic bond temporarily breaks to allow food and drink to pass down normally, but then the magnets close to immediately restore the body’s natural barrier to reflux of acid and bile back up into the oesophagus.
“I really did not want to spend the rest of my life on medication, and fundoplication sounded like a huge operation. The purpose of seeing Mr Reddy was not so much to cure any symptoms; I had only a little heartburn, but felt anxious about its impact on my existing medical condition. I wanted to continue with my active lifestyle – I am a keen tennis player, had just been accepted for an MA Fine Art at the University of the Arts London and I didn’t want any health conditions holding me back.
“I am so glad I opted for the LINX procedure; I now have peace of mind, and I would strongly urge anyone with a chronic airway disease to have their acid levels checked and consider the LINX procedure. I had no side-effects whatsoever, and the only change is that I just have to remember to chew a little more carefully. I am now looking forward to the future, and I can’t wait to start my MA in September.”
Doc No. 5361-1 Rev. 1
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.