Shawn Speed, age 45, has left a 15-year history of gastro-esophageal disease (GERD) behind.
“For years I had occasional heartburn, but the main GERD symptom was the acid refluxing into my throat and causing discomfort and that feeling of not having swallowed completely,” Shawn explained. “GERD caused a lot of problems with eating and drinking my favorite foods because if I ate or drank the wrong thing, I would pay for it later, either with heartburn or a lot of acid reflux into my throat. It was pretty much a constant thing if it weren’t for the medication I was taking to control it.”
Shawn learned of the advanced care and treatment for GERD at Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center in Aitkin and Crosby through his wife who works in the surgery department at Riverwood Healthcare Center. He researched his options for treatment and the benefits of each.
“The LINX procedure is the least invasive and if it didn’t work or I didn’t like it, I could always go with another treatment,” Shawn said. “I prefer to go with new technology. I took my time to think about it and talked to others who had it done.”
The LINX System is a small flexible bracelet of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores. It is implanted with a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure around the weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The magnetic attraction between the beads helps the LES resist opening to gastric pressures, preventing reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. Swallowing food temporarily opens the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach.
“During the recovery period, it was more work to swallow at first until my body healed,” Shawn said. “Drinking a lot of water with every meal made everything so much easier.”
After the LINX procedure, Shawn is symptom-free and no longer taking acid-blocking medication. Shawn added: “I can eat more spicy foods than before without having any issues or heartburn. It’s like I never had reflux.”
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