Claude Old suffered from severe acid reflex. High dosages of a medication that blocks production of acid in the stomach were not offering the relief he wanted.
“My acid reflux would get so bad that my chest hurt so bad, and I mean, even up into my teeth where it would double me over. And sometimes, I would actually pass out from the pain,” Old said.
When his doctor said he could be a candidate for the LINX device, he wanted to learn more about this medication-free option. Old went to Weight Loss Solutions, a Saint Francis Healthcare System Medical Partner, to meet with Dr. Ryan A. LeGrand and Dr. Carson C. Cunningham, bariatric surgeons, who perform the LINX procedure together.
“Patients have been very happy with it,” said Dr. Cunningham. “Their symptoms are better, rapidly better. And they’re able to stop using their antacid medication that they’ve been dependent on for a long period of time.”
The surgery usually takes less than two hours. The LINX device, a titanium beaded device that looks like a bracelet, is placed around the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) in a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeries are all done laparoscopically with four or five small incisions. The biggest incision is about the size of a thumbnail. The two-part surgery repairs the hiatal hernia around the esophagus and diaphragm and puts the LINX device around the LES.
“Usually by the time we see someone back the week out from surgery, they’ve been getting out and about and kind of getting back to the normal swing of things,” said Dr. LeGrand.
“Since the surgery, I have had no acid reflux,” Old said. “None! So it works!”
Those who are being treated for acid reflux and / or heartburn and are unhappy with the results of prescribed medication could be good candidates for the procedure. Those interested in the LINX procedure can call Weight Loss Solutions at 573-331-3992 or ask their gastroenterologist or primary care physician for a referral to this office.
Saint Francis Healthcare System was the first in the region to offer the LINX procedure in April 2018.