Linx Procedure 2017 My Experience

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Chad2322
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/9/2017 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
My legal Disclaimer- I am not a doctor! I am only giving an honest account of my recovery regarding the Linx Procedure. I am in no way suggesting that someone should or should not receive the Linx Procedure. Also, what works for me may or may not work for you. please consult with your doctor for questions or medical advise.

Now to the good stuff.

OK, so where to start. If your reading this, you've been on a long road of misery and still have a very long road until you get to the surgery date. I can explain that later if anyone ask. There are test after test and doctors after doctors you have to see first.

There does not seem to be a lot of 2017 updates for the linx procedure/recovery, so i decided to share my experience. I had the Linx surgery and hiatal hernia repair February 7, 2017. I am now 31 days post op.

First, i will explain why i had the linx device installed and then i will account for the positives/negatives that i have dealt with during recovery from the linx procedure.

Why:
I've dealt with Heartburn/gerd/ibs for 17 years, im in my mid 30's. The last 5 years were the worst. It seems that i was throwing up 3 or 4 times a week because i felt a burning at the base of my esophagus. Also, I work out daily, and if i bent over after taking a drink of water, i noticed the water would run back up my throat and also make me nauseous. Finally, i had enough! No more. If someone wants to know the steps that i had to take to get to the surgery, please ask. For now, i will just talk about what I have experienced.

---surgery day is here and im excited---

I wake up from surgery, very sedated and loaded with anti nausea and pain meds. I did not feel any pain (but that came later on). Doctors come in and ask questions etc.. just checking in

Nurses bring food out a couple of hours later, chopped steak, mash potatoes with gravy and a chocolate muffin. Normally, i would not eat these foods as they would cause massive reflux and nausea for me. But, i said what the hell, i just went through this procedure so lets try it out. I ate a little of everything with no problem. To my surprise a few hours later, no burning at the base of my esophagus. This glorious day had come--- i had a a few more meals overnight during my stay at the hospital. The next day or so i ate just the same at home, i even had sweet tea, grilled cheese (things i have not ate in years) pretty much whatever i wanted. I was so excited.

So, 4 days post op, im slowly coming off the pain meds, i also start to notice a pain at the base of my chest.
That night, fear struck, i took a swallow of chicken and my body froze. I noticed a very strong pressure building in my chest. I took a gulp of tea, BAD IDEA, I swallowed a few more times, nothing. I could breath but i could not swallow. I leaned over the sink and threw back up the chewed chicken and sweet tea. Note that i did not throw up food i had already ate, i only threw up what did not make it through/pass the linx. It seems a the dreaded dysphagia kicked in pretty early. Interestingly enough, after throwing this food back up, i waited 10 minutes and began to very slowly and was able to pass food. dysphagia in my opinion, should be a topic that doctors cover very extensively. I was told about it, but i had no idea just how bad it was going to be.. for me at least. I can honestly say, im a grown man and i was at my wits end. I could not swallow food or water.

The next couple of days i experienced horrible swallowing problems. I literally would swallow water and it would not pass though the link devise. The water sat on top of the linx and my saliva starting sitting on top of that, (i think its called pooling saliva) basically in my case, i couldnt even get water down and when i threw it up, it came up with the globs of saliva that were very thick and stringy. So, i fought it and fought but i gave up. I went in to the medstop for fluids. I was losing weight, over the course of 15 days, i lost 7 lbs and still counting.

I went back to my linx surgeon and said take this out i cant do it. He asked me to calm down and perform a barium swallow test. Please google it if your not show what it is, but my results showed a slight pinch after a soft swallow which was trapping the saliva and soft foods like bread on top of the linx. The surgeon said he wanted to put me back to sleep, do another endoscopy and dilation. Basically put a tube in my esophagus, that tube then balloons up and stretches the scar tissue around the device making it easier to swallow. Since that procedure eating has been easier. But, i still eat small portions, chew forever, swallow and wait.

What i can say is that since the procedure, i do not have the burning feeling at the base of my esophagus nor does water or food run back up if i bend over. Very happy!!

However, i now experience normal heartburn which i havent felt in several years. Antacids usually calm this down.

Now i get Nausea, after meals even after a month.
Weight loss
My scars and abdomen still hurt 30 days post op. Probably doesnt help that i went back to work 6 days after surgery. I just started walking again, my first walk was 5 minutes and i felt ran over by a truck all day. Since that day, ive made myself walk every morning, twice in some days. My goal is to get back to running a mile again and working out.


Recap: Linx surgery fixed what i went in for, but just so you know, the recovery process for me was slow and horrible. I had a very hard time in the first 2 weeks. I almost had the device removed. If the nausea and dysphagia do not get better, i will consider removal of the device.

Please feel free to post questions and comments/suggestions. If you are considering the procedure or you are fresh out of surgery, please ask any questions you have.

hammer44
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 4/9/2017 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
i will be seeing doctor on 18th April 2017 about Links and i do have a list of questions to ask him.
what i am concern about is the diet during recover ? I know I will be drinking warm water because
I think it will help to swallow of the food and should help the links to open and close without food getting
stuck if every thing went as plan.

hammer44
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 4/9/2017 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
i will be seeing doctor on 18th April 2017 about Links and i do have a list of questions to ask him.
what i am concern about is the diet during recover ? I know I will be drinking warm water because
I think it will help to swallow of the food and should help the links to open and close without food getting
stuck if every thing went as plan.

law
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 4/10/2017 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Chad2322, how are you feeling now? I'm going in for a consult for this procedure and some others, but what you are going through sounds really rough. Linx is not a the top of my list, but I want to see what the doctor says once my test results are in. I'm very concerned about the dysphagia you speak of and also the fact you still have heartburn and have to take antacids. I hope you are feeling better now a month later since your post. Lori

Chad2322
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/10/2017 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hammer and Law, i will answer both of you in one post.

hammer ask away- The diet, its going to he be different for everyone. So what what works for me may not work for you. The first couple days i was ok (i ate anything, then dysphagia. I could not even swallow water much less any food. After a consult and barium swallow test it showed that the device wasn't opening as good as it should due to scar tissue forming around the linx so they put me back to sleep for a dialation. During these rough days i drank, water gatorade. Food, i stayed away from breads as they do not go down well. To be honest, until my dialation i could not eat or drink anything, as i stated above i had to go back for fluids. The linx worked keeping my acid in my stomach but made it very had for me to get anything down. VERY IMPORTANT. Chew your food for a long time, take a hard swallow. wait until you hear it pass, then take a drink, works for me. If you get dysphagia you will know it, the food will sit a the top and saliva backs up, you will lean forward that throw up just a tad. You just have to find the will to make it through, it was probably the most challenging thing in my life, its almost like learning to swallow again. Side note, one doctor said it takes a week to kick in and another said it starts immediately. For me it was immediate

After experimenting i ate baked potatoes a lot. i also found that if i wanted to eat chicken i had to chew in baked potatoes to almost form a very solid base or consistency so that it would mesh together and all pass at once through the linx. Today i am 64 days post op. Things are so much better. i can really eat water ever i want but i use baked potatoe or mashed potatoes with every meal, basically just to mix in with the food im trying to swallow.


LAW- How am i feeling now you ask..I would say almost 100% better but i have been nauseous everyday since surgery. So bad in fact ive been on phenergran to get through the days, typically it starts after my first meal. I went back to the gi doctor and they ordered a hida scan, they say maybe my gal bladder may be causing nausea because my surgeon said hes never seen this. But on the flip side, regarding the heartburn i mentioned, i went back to the gi very mad and i thought he would be putting me on a stronger PPI antacid, to my amusement he said stop taking everything. I said doctor im here because i had a surgery to fix reflux that you suggested and still having heartburn. He said he understood and i said ok, that day i stopped. Mind you i was taking over 100mg of nexium a day and over 200 mg of zantac. I was freaking out. to my surprise, the hearburn went away. The gi said it could have been the vagus nerve or all sorts of things. I did switch to liquid gaviscon which really shouldn't be needed but i occasionally will take a swing if i feel any burning.

To wrap this up, the LINX has been a godsend for acid reflux for me. In this regards it has done its job. The nausea on the other hand is undetermined and i will know soon.

Law- Dysphagia is no joke. There should be a warning sign at the door. Now i eat just find, i do eat slower than most people, occasionally i do get a stuck situation but its no biggie. I ate pizza for the first time in 4 years yesterday and was fine other than the nausea

Please let me know if you have other questions or if i didnt answer one,

rby
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/1/2017 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi chad - I have the surgery scheduled for next week. Was wondering how you are feeling a few months out?

Chad2322
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/1/2017 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey RBY.

Great question. So today is almost four months out. I can say that i experience no acid reflux issues since the linx surgery. I've said its been a blessing for acid reflux/gerd but i still have bouts of swallowing issues. To be honest, from what a read, it effects everyone differently, but ive a hard time with eating. It seems that if i get this first swallow to pass without any problems then the rest of my meal will be fine. However, if something gets stuck or i do not get a full swallow, the meal is pretty much ruined. Ive noticed extra production of saliva here and there, its to the point where i have to actually spit several times a day. Now keep in mind i do not place blame on the linx or the surgery, i just know my body is having a certain reaction. Early last month i had horrible gas pains. to the point of missing work bad. But once i was able to pass the gas the relief was instant.

On a positive note, i am now eating anything i want and i get no reflux. My energy is finally back, im working out 4 times a week, heavy weight training etc. I will tell you from my experience, the first two week were very rough. make sure to stay very hydrated and stay in touch with your doctor if and be persistent if you have problems. i had to see my gi and surgeon to discuss early issues. do not let them pass you off.

brianissleepy
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/17/2017 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been having severe acid reflux for 5 months now. But it's mostly burning in my throat and difficulty swallowing. I think the Linx would help with the burning, but I'm scared it would make my swallowing much more difficult. My Doctor mentioned he was worried about that also. Not sure what to do at this point. I still have some tests to do before I talk to him.

Kimsmithie
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/21/2017 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for posting your experience with the Linx surgery. I'm sorry for your issues that you have suffered but I'm excited for the relief you are experiencing. I hope things continue to get better and better for you!

My name is Kim and I just turned 50 years old and I have been dealing with heartburn officially since the late 90s. 1998 I had my first scope and it showed a slight hiatal hernia, some pre-cancerous polyps and an ulcer. I was also suffering with symptoms of IBS. At that time I found out I had a liver tumor called focal nodular hyperplasia and eventually had tumor dissected and my gallbladder removed. I had such burning pain and pressure at my sternum, I thought for sure I had a ton of erosion. But sure enough after the scope ('s) I was told there was not much erosion and that was very confusing. I've been on about every medicine for heartburn and nothing really fully works. I have had multiple Scopes and different tests with much of the same results.

Recently I went to an ear nose and throat doctor and a sleep doctor for issues I am experiencing and found out I have a really bad case of LPR ( who'da thunk it makes so much sense now). I'm to the point where I am always congested with sinusitis, a burning from my nose straight into my throat, my tongue actually Burns, cobblestoning, pain, bloating, chronic cough and clearing of my throat with the feeling of phlegm all the time... and nausea. I found out at this time I do not have sleep apnea (yet, o2 levels still good but eventually ok will most likely get it due to the structure of my mouth). However, I do have a sleep disorder called paradoxal insomnia. I tend to have many arousals and Awakenings and horrible quality of sleep due to lack of REM sleep. A lot of this could be from the constant refluxing while I sleep and I prayed taking care of the LPR, GERD, and heartburn will also help with the Sleep issues. I am done suffering and I am ready to get this fixed.

I have an appointment on August 17th to talk about the Linx procedure with one surgeon. I will speak with my regular GI doctor about a Nissen fundoplication as well and will decide what is best for my LPR, GERD, and heartburn. I'm definitely nervous but I'm excited, life is for the living and my quality of living has been really sucky lately. It affects me when I am awake and asleep and I'm ready to stop complaining about feeling sick all the time (sinusitis, bronchitis, sore throat, along with nausea, heartburn, and stomach aches). I'm hoping they can work on strengthening the inner sphincter as well to give me extra protection when sleeping. I'm not sure which route to go, I will see what the doctor say. The fundoplication seems like the gold standard and the best option for LPR and GERD, but I have to admit it makes me nervous. I have seen some success with the linxs as well. I'm bummed my initial appointment is so far away LOL, I'm ready to get this show on the road and hopefully start feeling like a brand new person. smile

I'm looking forward to watching this thread and seeing other people's experiences. Good luck everyone!
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