ENT doc thinks LINX = death sentence

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 10/8/2012 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been to see a particular ENT twice now. Both times, when I asked about getting LINX surgery (titanium magnets that help to keep the LES closed), he has made very swift and strong (absolute) statements about LINX.

The first time, he said the magnets could get into the esophagus and kill me.

I asked about it again on my next visit, hoping perhaps since LINX is relatively new, he may have changed his thoughts on it. His response was similar, something like "The problem with LINX is, it erodes into your esophagus and you die". "Not worth the risk".

Funny, his response both times was so strong and absolute, that it didn't leave much of any room for argument. I had actually planned to ask about why some of his colleagues are listed on the LINX site as authorized installers, but again, his response was anything but inviting in terms of further discussion. After all, who can argue with death?

I am curious if anyone else's doctor has had such a strong reaction if you've asked them about LINX.

I am very surprised at my doctor's reaction, he is one of the top LPR experts in the country. Maybe he knows something other doctors don't. I do wish he was more open to it though, I'm wondering if his being such an expert can make him more stubborn than another doc, or it might just be his way.

He is definitely trying to help me, and he isn't suggesting fundo for me either (i.e., I do not believe him to be motivated by profit from doing a fundo on me), I just can't understand his reaction to LINX.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 10/8/2012 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a pretty sensational opinion for a device that has already been FDA approved by a whole panel of GI Experts and changed many people's lives for the best.

I suspect he practicing during the time the Angelchik prosthesis came available. It was a somewhat similar device (although more like a plastic cinching device) to the linx. It migrated into several people's esophagus and caused them problems. Most of these happened early on and the device was never widely implanted (< 100 overall I think?).

On the flip side, the Linx device has already been in use by many people for over 4 years and it continues to be successful with no ill effects:

The LINX reflux management system: confirmed safety and efficacy now at 4 years.

If I were you, I'd get a second opinion. Any doctor who is that set in his ways and won't listen to new evidence or explore new treatments isn't someone I'd want treating me.

Good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 10/9/2012 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi JPT. I've definitely been following that LINX thread, thanks for your continuing contribution to it. I'm definitely in the position of needing to seek other opinions, where I can bring in research and have the doctor absorb it (my PCP is GREAT in that respect but she cannot help me much with LPR/reflux).

It seems with my present doc, I am having to do lots of extra work to try to prove that I have a reflux problem. Partial response to PPIs, inflammed vocal chords, acidic taste in mouth, apparently is not enough.

That said, we are crossing possibilities off the list -- it just seems that this doc is not going to offer surgery as an option no matter how many papers I bring him. I have already tried an antidepressant (Elavil/amitriptyline) which did nothing. I am currently trying Baclofen. From the papers I've read, I may have a LES that is pried open to release a vapor/spray of reflux.. so I don't think merely decreasing transient relaxations is going to do anything. But I am in the mode where I want to eliminate all possible medical therapies so that the doctor(s) are satisfied, even when my own thought is that they will not work.

It's a very frustrating condition to deal with when you don't have "textbook" heartburn, if there is such a thing.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 10/9/2012 7:03 PM (GMT -6)   
And JPT - I also asked him if they could test my saliva to see that there is something in it that shouldn't be there. He said no, there was no test, and that even if they found something, there is nothing they could do about it. (Yes I know, SURGERY is what they could do about it to decrease all forms of reflux.. but I really get tired of arguing with this guy, it gets me nowhere and probably just annoys him).

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 10/10/2012 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
do you trust this doctor with your life? if not, move on immediately and not just for a second opinion. if you don't trust him with your life that he does hold in his hands, find a new doc today and never return to this guy.
gout, sleep apnea, asthma, copd, high BP & cholesterol, Gerd, light headedness, muscle weakness.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/10/2012 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
My world-known surgeon has tried out all the new inventions as they have come along over the last 25 years or so, and he and his group don't do those things any more. He gets 95% or better satisfaction with Nissen variations (mine was Toupet). None of the other inventions comes anywhere near to that.
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