Posted 4/12/2016 4:33 PM (GMT -6)
Anyone have insight into what makes someone a good candidate for the LINX surgery?
For the past 8 months, I've been suddenly thrust into the world of GERD. Although I would rate my case as moderate, it's also only been moderately responsive to medication and positive changes in weight, diet, and habits. Many days I'm quickly exhausted and I know the GERD has a role in that. And other times, just the thought of physical activity makes my stomach turn - sports, running, biking, hunting, all things that I enjoy frequently in the snow free months. Even moving larger items around the house is out of bounds for me on some days. I often have chest pain and uneasiness, shoulder pain, nausea, upper airway irritation, and overall just don't feel very good. And the "medication shuffle" I've been doing with my GI's office is not helping much either. The PPI's help me to not feel like creeping death, but I still wouldn't say I feel great. And if I'm going to rely on such a strong medication, change my diet and habits, I want to see RESULTS. I'm not even 30 yet, but the PA at my specialist's office (who is always who I see) acts like it's no big deal and I should be accepting of the new life GERD has handed me. Frankly, I find it unacceptable. I don't want to go on a strong and possibly dangerous medication for decades and have a "meh" feeling life to show for it, if there are other options available.
When I asked the PA about surgical options, she just kind of shrugged my question off and mumbled something about fundoplifications only being reserved for severe cases. I know their hospital network provides LINX surgery, but I didn't want to come off like a jerk and grill her about it. But I have seen quite a few cases online where people have the device placed and feel like a whole new person. I realize that nothing is a sure bet, but I'm just so irritated that it's not even on the table for me to have the additional tests and see if it's an option. My wife and I have great insurance and money isn't an issue. I've had a barium series and upper endoscopy, but no PH probe or manometry, and I believe those would be the other pieces of the puzzle. Aside from GERD, I'm 100% healthy, no chronic conditions, no medications, perfect candidate for surgery in the general sense, and this surgery seems to have few complications and a high success rate.
So, what do I need to make my medical team get serious about this with me? Is there a certain amount of pain and suffering one needs to demonstrate to be considered? Do I just need to be a particularly squeaky wheel? Please, before anyone says "you need to discuss this with your doctor," I'm here saying I've tried and they don't take me seriously. I need to know why.