Like you, I also have LPR. LPR is a special complication of GERD, because not only is the LES not functioning properly, but also the pharyngeal sphincter.
I had the TIF surgery in August. If the LINX was also offered here where I live, would I have made that choice instead? No, for the following reasons:
1. It is a new procedure, with very few experienced surgeons. There are those who would argue that it is a simple procedure, and once given some weekend training, a surgeon could begin doing the procedures right away. But that's not experience. You shouldn't hire a surgeon based upon what he knows about your procedure -- you should hire him based upon his experience upon viewing your special case once he opens you up, and/or immediate problems he sees. This only occurs after a procedure has been done a significant amount, by various surgeons, who report their results in a peer-reviewed fashion. You wouldn't see this sort of knowledge base in the U.S. for quite some time.
2. I've watched the demonstration video. I'm not convinced there is enough attraction between the magnets to accomplish a significant amount of pressure on the LES...nor would I think it be safe to exert enough pressure to clamp off the LES, even if they could. The pressure point...ring...is actually very small, maybe an eighth of an inch, vs. a TIF or Nissen that covers an area of 2cm or so.
3. What happens when scar tissue forms around and between the magnets? Wouldn't that limit the amount the magnets can be attracted to each other?
4. As a matter of safety, I would never travel overseas to have serious surgery. We have the best doctors in the world right here in the U.S. There is a reason for the protections afforded by the various medical organizations. The fact that surgeries are available overseas doesn't necessarily make them better, or more advanced, than what it available here. What sort of recourse do you have if there are problems? etc., etc.
Yes, the TIF began overseas first, then was accepted and peer-reviewed here. But it was done enough times, and had enough of a safety record, that it was accepted. Maybe the LINX will follow suit. But do you want to be a guinea pig?
5. I wouldn't base your decision off another's experience you read about on this messageboard, especially if this person is only two weeks into recovery. All that says is this person made their own decision and went through with it. It doesn't take into consideration a whole host of factors, not to mention that two weeks into recovery isn't near enough time to evaluate the potential success of something.
From what I know now, after going through the TIF, I can see that it's unlikely that LPR sufferers can be sufficiently well-served by these "bridge" procedures (like the TIF or LINX) to be symptom-free. The problem is what I referred to at the beginning of my post...the additional weakness of the top of the esophagus leading to the throat. At best, these surgeries will probably not bring most patients beyond a normal DeMeester score, which means there are still a significant number of reflux episodes each day...which will reach the throat. This is where I'm at currently, still managing symptoms.
There is only one procedure with any chance of eliminating all of the reflux, and that's the Nissen. In order to understand this means considering why it is that this surgery works so well. The reason we reflux is because of the peristalsis of the stomach moving its contents towards the small intestine. If you've ever watched a snake, or a worm, move, this is how peristalsis works. The muscles contract one after another, from the top of the stomach where the LES is, to the other end. When the LES is weak, this contraction will also squirt reflux into the esophagus. But after the fundoplication, when the peristalsis occurs, the surgical site will clamp the LES closed at the same time. The closure of the valve is done by muscular contraction, which is how it's supposed to be. No other procedure replicates this.
Forgive me for playing devil's advocate. Hope the other side of the argument is helpful.