For several years I experienced a variety of symptoms.
Initially, my only problem was indigestion, which I put down to the development of food intolerance and I made many initiatives to avoid certain foods and types of drink but over a few years things got worse. For a while, I was able to suppress discomfort with products such as Gaviscon.
In later stages the worst experience escalated to waking during the night with the taste of stomach contents in my throat despite eating no later than 7pm. Gaviscon had little beneficial effect and I resorted to propping myself up in bed every night with pillows in order to minimise the potential for what I then appreciated was reflux.
The prescription by my GP of drugs to suppress stomach acidity removed the symptoms of reflux for a few weeks before I started to experience side effects of the drugs within 4/5wks, which included severe muscle and joint aches with Proton Pump Inhibitors [PPIs) or water retention causing swelling of my lower legs with Ranitidine.
Since the option to treat the symptoms with drugs was not going to work for me I researched online for any alternative approach. I soon discovered that there were surgical options that sought to treat the cause rather than merely suppress the resulting symptoms.
The consultation and associated diagnostics were extremely thorough and great care was taken to determine that I was suitable for what I considered to be the most elegant surgical intervention and one that could be reversed if it was not successful unlike other types of surgery.
Everything went well and according to my expectations based upon the pre-op briefing.
I ate normally without avoiding any solids from the very start albeit that I was careful to chew my food better than perhaps I was previously accustomed to so doing. However, because I did not wish to eat three meals a day and put on weight whilst I could no longer exercise for several weeks 1 substituted a midday meal by eating dry sourdough bread to exercise the sphincter muscle at intervals during the day.
The only difficulty that I experienced with eating was sphincter muscle spasm approximately one third of the way into the main evening meal [ie a larger meal.] In response to this event, I sipped cold water for a couple of minutes and then continued to eat trying to ignore the discomfort, which totally subsided within five minutes. The frequency of this event slowly declined until at 12wks it was very rare.
From the first day after the operation I was free of all reflux symptoms and at 4mths post operation ! was starting to forget that I had even got an implant!
I feel that the clock has been put back 10-15yrs in terms of the robustness of my digestive system. I can eat and drink whatever I like at whatever time of the day I like without the slightest consideration that there might be any unwanted physical consequences.
Yes, without a doubt. A patient should trust in the experience and expertise within Reflux UK to guide them as to the best option for their treatment of reflux for them, which might not be Linx.
Yes. It is now some 8mths after the fitting of a Linx device and for me it has proved to be an intervention that has given me the best possible outcome. That said, it might not be so for all patients. For sufferers of reflux who wish to address the cause and not just the symptoms of their reflux and for whom the appropriate diagnostics indicate that they have sufficient gut motility to accommodate the Links implant I would strongly recommend this device rather than any alternative surgical intervention.