Zachary Hanson, Heidi Ryan, MD, Audriene May, MS, Shawn Tsuda, MD, FACS. University of Nevada School of Medicine
The LINX Reflux Management System™ is a novel procedure for the management of medically refractory or complicated GERD. Dysphagia is the most common symptom associated with the implantation of this device. Odynophagia can be either an associated or a distinct complication postoperatively. This study describes patients’ swallowing-related symptoms and its impact on quality of life after the LINX™ surgery.
A modified survey was developed to assess severity of dysphagia and odynophagia. The custom survey was administered, in addition to the validated SWAL-QOL, to patients who underwent the LINX™ procedure at an academic center. Patient and operative characteristics were obtained by retrospective medical records review.
Eight patients, who underwent the LINX™ procedure, completed the surveys at 5 – 38 weeks postoperatively. According to the modified survey, all patients reported dysphagia (median score = 3), whereas 75% reported odynophagia (median score = 3) at respective week of survey completion. There is no correlation between odynophagia and dysphagia. The median total SWAL-QOL score is 90.3 and median symptom score is 87.5. There was no correlation between follow-up time and swallowing outcomes.
Postoperative dysphagia and odynophagia may be distinct symptoms as characterized using our modified survey complemented with the SWAL-QOL. Most patients reported occurrence of swallowing problems at only a few times per week and similar severity of symptoms to healthy individuals reported in the literature. Swallowing outcomes appear to have little impact on patients’ quality of life.