New op brings relief from heartburn from hell

Holsworthy man able to eat for the first time in 18 months after revolutionary new LINX procedure

A young North Devon man who was unable to eat for almost 18 months is looking forward to a new lease of life after becoming one of the first in the UK to undergo a revolutionary new operation.

Lyndon Haslam’s life came to a standstill in March 2010 when he was struck down by severe acid reflux – where stomach acid rises into the gullet – leading to chronic pain, heart burn and vomiting several times a day.

From being a normal young adult, he was reduced to fitting his life around his condition, surviving on milkshakes because he could not eat solid food.

The 20-year-old was in and out of hospital, at his wits end and lined up for a major operation to alter the anatomy of his stomach. The constant heaving had also caused a hiatus hernia.

“He was suffering,” said his mum Susan, “and if he was sick five times a day that would be a good day.

“He could not move around a lot as even walking was painful and he had to sleep upright. The worse thing for him was he has not been able to socialise with people.”

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Then they heard about the innovative LINX System after Lyndon’s grandmother spotted a clipping in a national newspaper and decided to go ahead with the surgery privately, as it is new to the UK and not available on the NHS.

The result amazed them - within three hours of his keyhole surgery at the Spire Manchester Hospital, Lyndon was sitting up in bed, eating crisps and looking forward to picking up his life again.

“For the last 18 months severe acid reflux has had a terrible impact on my life,” said Lyndon.

“I have been forced to live off milky drinks to prevent regurgitation and I no longer feel up to playing darts or pool with my friends. I turn 21 in August and just could not bear the thought of suffering with these symptoms any longer which is why I decided to have the procedure.”

The operation sees a flexible bracelet of titanium beads, each with a magnetised core, placed around the oesophagus, just above the stomach, which expands to allow food and drink through but closes up after swallowing to prevent stomach acid escaping.

Determined to make up for lost time, within a day of his operation Lyndon ate a scampi dinner, large breakfast and went on to have a curry! He even bumped into Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster, in hospital!

Severe acid reflux, or Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) if left untreated can lead to complications such as oesophagitis, Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer.

It is hoped the LINX� System will become available on the NHS in the next year or so, according to providers.

Go to to find out more about the new LINX system or click on the link in the related links box (top right.)

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