Toxic waste floating inside stomach. LINX device.

Patients reported improved quality of life.

Rupert

Rupert

Rupert Butler, 50, a London barrister, had acid reflux symptoms so severe that he became obsessive about having over-the-counter remedies within reach whilst in court. He has now finally found relief after suffering for 25 years.

Although gastric reflux is a common condition, it can have a big impact on someone’s life and symptoms include heartburn and regurgitation with sufferers, such as Rupert. Anti-reflux medication called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are often prescribed. This class of medication works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

Rupert believes his symptoms were exacerbated by the stress of modern life and a demanding job as a self-employed barrister juggling several clients throughout the day. He took PPIs for 10 years but felt his symptoms continue to worsen, having a big effect on his daily life.

Rupert says:

“I did not need to take time off court, I just got used to being in serious discomfort a lot of the time. If I planned ahead, I could control the symptoms but I became dependent on always having medication to hand, which then made me obsessive about keeping pills within reach. I stopped taking PPIs in the end because I didn’t like the side effects. I had cramps in my legs, constant headaches and was always thirsty. I then regularly took over-the-counter medication, but this also had side effects so wasn’t a long term solution either.”

One day he came across an article about a woman who had the LINX® Reflux Management System procedure for her acid reflux. Inspired by her story he did further research and much to his joy, realised he could have the treatment done locally. He made an appointment with gastrointestinal surgeon Mr Nick Boyle, at Spire Tunbridge Wells, who suggested he might be a good candidate for the LINX procedure.

LINX is a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores which is implanted, through keyhole surgery, around the weak oesophageal sphincter, just above the stomach. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps augment the weak sphincter to prevent reflux.

Since having the LINX fitted, Rupert has finally been able to enjoy eating freely again and living a life that is pain-free.

“It was Christmas time when I had it done, so I set about reacquainting myself with the foods I love which I’ve been avoiding for 25 years – such as white chocolate, curries and bitter ales. I can now sleep properly lying down flat without being woken up by reflux, which is new! It’s fantastic to be able to eat and drink without planning meals. I’m free of any symptoms of acid reflux, which is phenomenal. Pain is awful, you feel like you are corroded from the inside by acid reflux, and once that stops it’s an extraordinary liberation.”

Results vary. Not all patients benefit. Talk to your doctor.

See Important Disclaimer

Anna

Kirsty

Kirsty Milne, an 18-year-old from Exeter, suffered from acid reflux that was so severe she lost a quarter of her body weight and was hospitalised for two weeks, some of it in intensive care. Following an oesophageal manometry test, which records the functioning of the oesophageal muscle, Kirsty was told hers was barely functioning at 0.1, the average and healthy range being 18 -20.

Kirsty had been suffering with undiagnosed reflux and regurgitation from the age of 13 and was in constant discomfort. Meal times were agonising with food taking over two hours to digest. She grew more introverted and withdrawn, turning down social activities because she was worried that people would see her eating and wonder what was wrong with her.

At first, she used over-the-counter antacids to deal with the symptoms. When these didn’t work her parents took her to see the GP who, despite numerous tests, couldn’t work out what was wrong. By age 17 her condition had deteriorated so badly that she was hospitalised for two weeks, some of it in intensive care, as doctors were worried about how much weight she had lost.

After reading about the LINX® Reflux Management System, Kirsty’s dad contacted Mr Dhiren Nehra, a Consultant General Surgeon at St Anthony’s Hospital in Surrey to arrange a consultation. Further tests found that Kirsty had a severely weakened oesophageal sphincter, which meant that food did not remain in her stomach as normal but came back up undigested. He suggested that she would be an ideal candidate for LINX, which comprises a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads that is implanted around the weak sphincter just above the stomach, preventing reflux.

After five years of suffering Kirsty was so happy to have a date set for her operation that she was spurred on to make plans and apply to university.

“Since my symptoms first appeared at age 13, I have undergone too many tests to count! At first, the symptoms weren’t too bad; I would swallow food and then it would come back up undigested, so I would swallow it again. However, it got worse over the years, to the point at which I would dread eating and food became my enemy. Despite numerous tests and various medications, nobody seemed to know what was wrong. I was unable to go on days out and holidays were a nightmare. I lost a lot of weight at a time when I should have been growing and at one point spent many nights in hospital, as they were so worried about the amount of weight I had lost. I can honestly say that it ruined many years of my life.

“I was 17 when Dr Nehra diagnosed me with a weak oesophageal muscle. At the time I couldn’t have the procedure until I was 18, so had to wait a little while. Somehow, I knew that it would work. I applied for university, having previously thought that I wouldn’t be able to go, knowing I would feel better by the time term began. I spent the time feeling like a light was finally shining at the end of a very long tunnel.”

Following the procedure – which took less than an hour – Kirsty hasn’t looked back. The reflux symptoms that plagued her for five years finally disappeared and she has been able to live a normal life, throwing herself into her languages degree with a new sense of freedom.

Results vary. Not all patients benefit. Talk to your doctor.

See Important Disclaimer

Anna

Anna

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.

Anna says:

“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.”

Results vary. Not all patients benefit. Talk to your doctor.

See Important Disclaimer

Terence

Terence

Where most people assume acid reflux is always very painful, Terence, 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 Terence, 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.

Terence 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.”

Results vary. Not all patients benefit. Talk to your doctor.

See Important Disclaimer

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