I went to see my GP who diagnosed me with a hernia and she prescribed a high dose Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) called Omeprazole. I was supposed to reduce the dose I was taking over time but this proved to be quite difficult. I did get good symptom relief and I was stable and living quite a normal life, however, I really didn't want to take medication for the long-term. I went back to see my GP who then mentioned surgery as an alternative to long-term medication. The GP had been to a meeting and had seen Mr Boyle speaking about LINX® and felt it might be a good option, and so she made a referral for me.
I went to see Mr Boyle in mid-2018, completed a symptom questionnaire and had an endoscopy and pH/manometry (I found this very uncomfortable and it made me very self-conscious!). The results of my tests suggested surgery would be a good option. I really felt that Mr Boyle did an excellent job of explaining the procedure and was very balanced about the benefits and risks.
The operation to implant the LINX® took place in December 2018, and the recovery was tough. I had quite bad dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) which started after two weeks, this was very uncomfortable, I was also vomiting quite frequently. Although I was suffering through this, I was lucky as I was well supported by my family and I was focused on why I chose the operation and the potential long-term benefits.
Curiously, I found that having a hot drink prior to and during eating really helped to alleviate the dysphagia. I also found that certain foods were also a trigger for the dysphagia, particularly rice and pasta (very difficult for an Italian!).
Eventually, my symptoms did start to get better. The recovery from the initial severe dysphagia took longer than I hoped, it was probably 6-8 weeks before I started feeling better, but the hot drinks really helped. Even after 6 months following that, I was still suffering from some dysphagia, but suddenly at 9-10 months, there were no symptoms at all.
Now, one year later, I'm not taking any medication, and I am 100% back to normal, exactly the same as before symptoms developed. I am so pleased. I was really worried about having to take long-term medication and now I know it will not be necessary. The recovery took longer than I hoped, and was sometimes difficult, but it was completely worth it and I'm very glad I made the decision to have LINX® surgery with RefluxUK.