My name is Rodney McDermott, I live just outside Buncrana, Co. Donegal in Ireland with my wife Lynda, son Alex and daughter Clara-Jayne. I am 50 years of age and I lecture in Civil Engineering at Ulster University in Northern Ireland.
I first got reflux symptoms in January 2023. The symptoms gradually worsened and, in April 2023, I had reflux every night. I had to sleep sitting up and my throat was in almost constant pain. No matter what I ate, even with changing my diet, the reflux was severe. Reflux affected my life in a very negative way. I didn’t want to eat out, I didn’t want to eat at all. I was extremely fatigued daily through a lack of sleep at night. I had numerous hospital trips and GP visits. My anti-acid meds (PPIs) were changed several times but to no avail. Reflux and the pursuit of relief started to take over my life and I know this had an impact on my family.
My wife Lynda and I were focused on finding a resolution. We did a lot of research with the aim of finding relevant information to make an informed and balanced decision. Lynda found RefluxUK online in July 2023. The RefluxUK website is very easy to follow and has concise information on the services offered. I had my initial appointment with Mr Nicholas Boyle within a week after contacting Melanie Brice (Patient Care Coordinator). I found Melanie brilliant - she could not have been more helpful. At the initial meeting, Mr Boyle was very clear about what was available to me and extremely reassuring. Mr Boyle explained the significance of the diagnostic tests, including the 24-hour pH monitoring and Esophageal Manometry. The reflux surgical procedures were also explained including Nissen Fundoplication, LINX and RefluxStop™️. Although there were alternative surgeries that I could avail of in Ireland, I chose to travel to the UK to get the LINX procedure because it was a more innovative option that was less invasive and with a quicker recovery time. On the same day as the initial consultation, I received comprehensive details of the discussion. This information was brilliant as I could re-read important information. I found RefluxUK completely professional, extremely well organised, very helpful and ultimately life-changing. Thanks to Mr Boyle, Melanie and everyone at RefluxUK for my outstanding experience.
At the surgical consultation, Mr Boyle explained the diagnostic tests to me. The instructions were clear on how to prepare, where to go and what to expect. Everything was straightforward and the results showed that I was positive for pathological acid exposure. This information, along with confirmation of normal esophageal motility, were discussed at the surgical consultation. The consultations were held online, were flexible in timing, this suited me being from Co. Donegal in Ireland. My GP in Ireland was kept informed regularly by Mr Boyle on the consultations, options and progress.
I had the LINX procedure, for me the decision was easy given the information from Mr Boyle that I was a suitable candidate given the results from the diagnostic tests. The various online testimonials were also extremely helpful in terms of my own research in coming to an informed decision.
The surgery preparation in the Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital was conducted with military-like precision. Everything from admission to the surgery and discharge went extremely smoothly. The hospital staff could not have been kinder. I recall waking up, my wife Lynda was by my side. Mr Boyle came in to see me and I remember enjoying our talk as I had a welcome cup of tea and a sandwich.
I had very minor left shoulder pain post the surgery. This probability was explained to me in advance of the surgery, but it was only minor pain and lasted only a few days.
One of the most amazing aspects of the surgery was that the reflux stopped immediately which has been life changing for me. I can eat whatever I want and sleep normally.