As a young child I first experienced vague symptoms which at the time weren’t linked to being caused by reflux. They included a reduced appetite, feeling full very quickly when eating, excess throat mucus, blocked ears, recurrent cough and tooth decay. As I got older, they became more noticeable and were accompanied by more typical reflux symptoms of sore throat, frequent nausea, worsened asthma and chest discomfort. I always struggled to gain and maintain weight, when I was admitted for surgery I had become underweight. I was given PPIs and other drugs, some of which helped slightly for a little while before the symptoms returned and others caused side effects.
I found out about RefluxUK through researching the LINX® procedure and reading articles about it.
Mr Boyle was clear and thorough in providing all the relevant information in a way that was easy to understand. He also took the time to answer any questions I had. He explained the three surgical options available to me (LINX®, fundoplication and Stretta) as well as the possibility of staying on medications. He advised on which approach was likely to be most suitable and effective in my situation.
Everyone was very friendly and explained what was going to happen at each stage. The staff were particularly reassuring when I was apprehensive before surgery. When I first drank a milkshake after waking up it was the first time I hadn’t felt sick or had it come back up for as long as I can remember. I was also able to go home late the same evening.
My symptoms disappeared immediately and from the next day I was eating normal food regularly which helped the swallowing recovery immensely, as Mr Boyle had advised. I stopped taking PPIs after a few days and whilst the incisions were slightly sore for the first few days, after about 10 days they were mostly healed and by 12 days post-surgery I started my first year at university. Occasionally I had food stick but it never lasted very long and it wasn’t painful. It was at its worst around six weeks after the operation. Sipping water before I started eating seemed to help and after three months my swallowing was virtually back to normal.
The operation has completely changed my life, I have a good appetite and now enjoy food and I no longer have to worry about certain foods worsening symptoms. It still seems such a treat being able to go out with friends for coffee which was impossible before. I have much more energy, have gained weight and I have no symptoms even without medication. My asthma has improved and I have been able to go to uni which I couldn’t have done without the operation. I am also enjoying sport which I loved when I was younger but became a huge trigger for symptoms before surgery. Even simple things like running with my spaniel is now great fun for us both when I struggled to do it before. It has given me much more confidence as I’m no longer battling endless symptoms, I can now enjoy life without having to think about, or have it taken over by, reflux.
I would definitely recommend RefluxUK to anyone who has reflux. The outcome I have experienced is far greater than I could ever have imagined. Not only has it resolved my symptoms but it has also prevented a lifetime of medication.
The regular eating of normal food in recovery has definitely helped with my swallowing long term.