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Starting in his early 40s, David Bitting was routinely awakened by the burning sensation of acid reflux in his chest and throat. “I can’t describe the amount of pain I felt,” says Bitting, 52, an information technology specialist from Allentown. “I’d be up the rest of the night.”
For nearly a decade, Bitting followed his doctor’s recommendation to take prescription proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to relieve gastroesophageal reflux
disease (GERD) symptoms and modify his diet.
“I couldn’t eat anything acidic, including chocolate, green peppers, coffee, alcohol, spicy foods and pineapple,” Bitting says. But the strategy didn’t work. Painful acid reflux continued to disrupt Bitting’s sleep at least twice a week. Fortunately, Bitting was referred to Scott Beman, MD, with LVPG
General, Bariatric and Trauma Surgery, who offered the LINX procedure after evaluating his condition.
“LINX is a laparoscopic surgical procedure in which a magnetic titanium band is placed to reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter,” Beman says. After seeing an example of LINX, Bitting says “it looks like a metallic candy bracelet.” LINX allows food to pass from the esophagus to the stomach normally. It opens up when food is swallowed, then squeezes closed to prevent stomach contents and acid from flowing backward, into the esophagus.
Since his LINX procedure in June 2018, Bitting has stopped taking PPI medication and no longer experiences nighttime GERD symptoms. “My whole life is different because I don’t have to worry about whether I’m going to get acid reflux,” Bitting says.
LINX works best when food is thoroughly chewed. It has forced Bitting to eat more slowly and take smaller bites. “But other than that, I don’t even realize the device is there,” he says. “Overall, I feel 100 percent healthier, and I’m sorry I waited so long to have surgery.”
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