Nicholas Boyle BM, MS, FRCS

Another patient underwent insertion of the LINX® Reflux Management System in April 2013, this is his story.

Another patient underwent insertion of the LINX®  Reflux Management System in April 2013, this is his story.

At the age of 47, I never expected to experience such a significant life changing experience as I have had since receiving the LINX® system implant. Since my early twenties I’d experienced persistent acid indigestion and reflux, and for most of my life been a slave to indigestion remedies of one sort or another.
In recent years, the discomfort I was suffering was particularly severe, and tests revealed that I was suffering from both a hiatus hernia, and a weak lower oesophageal sphincter. My oesophagus was also showing signs of scarring from the persistent acid reflux. My mother suffers from Barrett’s oesophagus, so there were some concerns that I might go the same way without treatment. A couple of years back I was offered a Nissen fundoplication, but the reported potential side effects, plus the ‘no going back’ nature of the procedure put me off at the time.
So life progressed on a steady dosage of PPIs - firstly omeprazole, which worked for while but then seemed to reduce in effectiveness. Esomeprazole was an improvement, but I hated the side effects of taking all of these drugs. I suffered from persistent belching/gas, an excess of saliva, bloating, and generally feeling tired and unwell a lot of the time. 
Certain foods would make my symptoms worse, so for a number of years this prompted me to go on a merry-go-round of exclusion diets trying to track down that elusive ‘cause’ for my condition. I now know that the root cause of my issues were physical, and not down to any particular food intolerance.
During one particularly severe bout of symptoms, I searched the internet to see if there were any alternatives to the Nissen procedure. That’s when I discovered the LINX® system implant was being pioneered by Mr Nicholas Boyle at the Spire hospital in Tunbridge Wells. I was intrigued, so I made an appointment, and that turned out to be the first step towards a life changing experience for me.
Mr Boyle assessed my condition, and deemed me to be a suitable candidate to receive the LINX® implant. It was duly fitted in April this year.  The operation was performed using keyhole surgery, so recovery time was only a few weeks. Mr Boyle advised gradually reducing my PPIs, although I confess I just went cold turkey and stopped taking them entirely within a couple of days. Almost immediately I felt the benefits of the operation - reflux had simply gone away.
The first month was spent getting used to the LINX® implant, and during this time I suffered occasional issues with swallowing and food would sometimes get stuck. I think my body simply needed to get used to the implant, but I also needed to become more conscious of not gulping large mouthfuls of food or eating in a hurry. 
Four months on, and I can’t remember the last time I had problems swallowing. I eat what I want when I want,  and that includes all the good things in life like curries, beer, orange juice, coffee - in fact all the things that used to aggravate my reflux. Today I have no reflux whatsoever, even if I eat late.
Over the first 6 weeks, on maybe five occasions I had some periods of pains in my chest that lasted up to 10 minutes. They weren’t severe, but they were a little worrying at first. Mr Boyle believes these were oesophageal spasms, but I’m pleased to say they have gone away completely now, and I put it down to the body just getting used to the implant.
Since the operation I’ve also put on some weight. I’d always been a bit on the thin side, and I believe my condition was impacting my ability to eat as much as I wanted.  In these last four months, I’ve filled out and I feel as though I’m thriving. I’m an active person, and I play football twice a week, as well as attend a circuit training class. People comment on how much better I look. I feel it too.
I wouldn’t think twice about having the LINX® system again. I feel like I’ve been released from a sentence of PPIs and swigging bottles of Gaviscon. It’s like I’ve been given a new lease of life.

At the age of 47, I never expected to experience such a significant life changing experience as I have had since receiving the LINX® system implant. Since my early twenties I’d experienced persistent acid indigestion and reflux, and for most of my life been a slave to indigestion remedies of one sort or another.

In recent years, the discomfort I was suffering was particularly severe, and tests revealed that I was suffering from both a hiatus hernia, and a weak lower oesophageal sphincter. My oesophagus was also showing signs of scarring from the persistent acid reflux. My mother suffers from Barrett’s oesophagus, so there were some concerns that I might go the same way without treatment. A couple of years back I was offered a Nissen fundoplication, but the reported potential side effects, plus the ‘no going back’ nature of the procedure put me off at the time.

So life progressed on a steady dosage of PPIs - firstly omeprazole, which worked for while but then seemed to reduce in effectiveness. Esomeprazole was an improvement, but I hated the side effects of taking all of these drugs. I suffered from persistent belching/gas, an excess of saliva, bloating, and generally feeling tired and unwell a lot of the time. 

Certain foods would make my symptoms worse, so for a number of years this prompted me to go on a merry-go-round of exclusion diets trying to track down that elusive ‘cause’ for my condition. I now know that the root cause of my issues were physical, and not down to any particular food intolerance.

During one particularly severe bout of symptoms, I searched the internet to see if there were any alternatives to the Nissen procedure. That’s when I discovered the LINX® system implant was being pioneered by Mr Nicholas Boyle at the Spire hospital in Tunbridge Wells. I was intrigued, so I made an appointment, and that turned out to be the first step towards a life changing experience for me.

Mr Boyle assessed my condition, and deemed me to be a suitable candidate to receive the LINX® implant. It was duly fitted in April this year.  The operation was performed using keyhole surgery, so recovery time was only a few weeks. Mr Boyle advised gradually reducing my PPIs, although I confess I just went cold turkey and stopped taking them entirely within a couple of days. Almost immediately I felt the benefits of the operation - reflux had simply gone away.

The first month was spent getting used to the LINX® implant, and during this time I suffered occasional issues with swallowing and food would sometimes get stuck. I think my body simply needed to get used to the implant, but I also needed to become more conscious of not gulping large mouthfuls of food or eating in a hurry. 

Four months on, and I can’t remember the last time I had problems swallowing. I eat what I want when I want,  and that includes all the good things in life like curries, beer, orange juice, coffee - in fact all the things that used to aggravate my reflux. Today I have no reflux whatsoever, even if I eat late.

Over the first 6 weeks, on maybe five occasions I had some periods of pains in my chest that lasted up to 10 minutes. They weren’t severe, but they were a little worrying at first. Mr Boyle believes these were oesophageal spasms, but I’m pleased to say they have gone away completely now, and I put it down to the body just getting used to the implant.

Since the operation I’ve also put on some weight. I’d always been a bit on the thin side, and I believe my condition was impacting my ability to eat as much as I wanted.  In these last four months, I’ve filled out and I feel as though I’m thriving. I’m an active person, and I play football twice a week, as well as attend a circuit training class. People comment on how much better I look. I feel it too.

I wouldn’t think twice about having the LINX® system again. I feel like I’ve been released from a sentence of PPIs and swigging bottles of Gaviscon. It’s like I’ve been given a new lease of life.

Nicholas Boyle

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Medical Secretary:
Julie Wood
TN3 0RD

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