I’m due to have the “LINX” procedure done. I’m getting feed back from some people that I should not have this done, because of side affects. This is a experienced doctor. So what do you think?
I am delighted that you have decided to take control of your reflux disease and that you are considering a surgical procedure. As you may have noticed, I recently wrote an article about my issues with GERD and my decision to have another procedure, a Nissen Fundoplication. We also published another story recently about a 27-year old man that chose to have the same procedure: Young heartburn sufferer finds the right doctor…and relief. Both of these stories are first hand accounts of people who have had antireflux surgery and may be helpful to you as you consider surgery. I also think it’s important to explore all of your options before committing to a procedure. A good overview to the alternatives is this answer to a question asked by one of our members: What is the best treatment for acid reflux?
The latest data on LINX
Let me address your question concerning the LINX procedure. A word of caution: LINX is a new procedure and as such, data is limited; however, one of the major highlights of the data we do have today is the lack of side effects. The latest and most recent data is from a 6-year study of 100 patients who had the LINX procedure in Italy. In this study there were no reported complications related to the device. The lack of side effects from the procedure was notable. Before the LINX procedure, 48% of those studied had bloating compared to only 2% after the procedure. Additionally, 8% had difficulty swallowing prior to the LINX procedure and that was reduced to 0% after the procedure. Painful swallowing went from 4% prior to the LINX procedure to 0% after LINX. This is the latest study and the percentage of patients reporting side effects is actually lower than patients taking PPI medications. Patients in the study were also asked if they would have LINX again or recommend it to a friend and the answers were 91% and 94% YES! Any new procedure should be approached with appropriate caution, but to date, LINX side effects seem to be minimal.
I also encourage you to read these articles about the LINX procedure:
Other antireflux procedures
Your physician may have been referring to another surgical procedure, Nissen fundoplication. Nissen does a great job at stopping reflux and its symptoms, but definite side effects are known to accompany this procedure. If you have more interest in the surgical alternatives for reflux disease, you might read some of these articles: