What causes acid reflux / GORD? Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) is a chronic, often progressive disease resulting from a weak Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LOS). The LOS is a muscle at the junction of the stomach and oesophagus that functions as the body’s natural barrier to reflux. It acts like a valve, allowing food and liquid to pass through to the stomach, closing immediately after swallowing, preventing acid reflux. However, in people with GORD, the LOS is weak, allowing acid and bile to reflux from the stomach into the oesophagus.
What are the symptoms of GORD? People experience the symptoms of GORD in a variety of ways, the most common of which is heartburn. Symptoms may also include: regurgitation, sore throat, cough, chest pain
Why do I continue to suffer acid reflux despite my medication? Medications for GORD, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H2 blockers, and antacids, are designed to control or suppress acid production in the stomach. They do not address the cause of acid reflux, a weak Lower Esophageal Sphincter, and therefore, do not prevent reflux.
How is the reflux surgery procedure performed? All reflux surgery procedures are performed using a common, minimally invasive surgical technique called laparoscopy (Keyhole Surgery). Patients are placed under general anesthesia during the procedure which is generally completed in 1-2 hours. Fundoplication and LINX procedures are commonly performed as day cases but gastric bypass patients will require a 2 night hospital stay.
Where can I have reflux surgery? We operate at the Riverside Hospital in London and the Spire Hospital in Birmingham.
Who will do the procedure? We work exclusively with four surgeons, Professor Franco Favretti, Mr Paul Super, Mr Jamie Kelly and Mr Rishi Singhal. These are internationally renowned surgeons with particular expertise in this field of surgery.
How do you ensure that the LINX™ device is the right size when it is fitted? We use a special sizing tool that is provided by the manufacturer.
Is the LINX™ device approved for use in the UK? Yes, it has a CE mark allowing distribution in the UK and Europe.
What happens if the LINX™ device fails? We have no evidence of this happening but in the very unlikely event it did, we would meet the cost of explanting and, if appropriate, replacing the device. The titanium beads used in the device are rare earth magnets so will maintain their magnetism throughout life. They will never wear out.
Will the surgery need to be repeated after a certain number of years? All of the three surgical procedures (fundoplication, LINX and gastric bypass) are expected to be lifetime procedures, although fundoplication procedures do require repeating in 10% of cases.
When can I eat a normal diet? When you can resume a normal diet will depend on the surgical procedure. LINX patients can eat normally immediately when they recover from the operation, usually the day after surgery. Fundoplication and gastric bypass patients will be able to resume a normal diet in approx 4 weeks.
When can I expect to see the benefits? Most patients describe an immediate improvement in their symptoms. Some LINX patients experience a period of temporary dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) from 7-10 days after the device is implanted, but this can be managed and in all cases resolves after 3 months.
Will I receive aftercare/support? Yes, all reflux surgery patients will receive regular support from our specialist team, including follow up appointments as required.
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