“I feel like I got 10 years of my life back.”

Douglas and Aurora Costanza | Rhode Island’s First LINX Surgery

After years of suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Douglas Costanza learned about a technology that could change his life. South County Hospital's surgical team explained how Doug could benefit from state-of-the-art technology called LINX®, a laparoscopic procedure performed using the da Vinci® Xi robot system to place a small flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores around the esophagus.

Prior to the surgery, Douglas and Aurora learned all the facts through a series of check-ups. “It was a long journey,” they recall, “but worth waiting for.” The day of surgery, the team was ready. Aurora, who also works at the hospital, noted the kindness and optimism of volunteers, RNs, and CNAs who not only ensured clinical excellence, but worked as a team to “tenderly’” care for Doug, making sure his surgical prep and recovery were their primary focus. In a thank you note Aurora wrote, “You are all angels in scrubs.”

After nearly six hours of surgery to repair a hernia and place the LINX band, the surgery team assured Aurora that the procedure was a success.

Doug says he noticed the results immediately and can finally breathe normally again, “I feel like I got 10 years of my life back.”

Aurora comments that prior to the surgery, Doug often woke up in the middle of the night with painful acid reflux. “He could no longer participate in activities he loved such as biking or walking on the beach.” Now she says, “We can hardly keep up with him!” Doug chimed in that he is astounded at how he easily keeps up with his nine-year-old daughter, Rebecca.

The Costanzas sent a letter thanking each member of the South County Hospital surgical team, “No words can express our gratitude, but our hearts can. We have the highest respect for what you do.”

They added, “We are deeply honored to be the first and promise to advocate this procedure for our community hospital for the rest of our lives.”

Though LINX surgery has been performed in other states for several years, the South County Hospital surgical team was the first to perform this surgery in Rhode Island.

Annual Report 2021

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“I love being a nurse at South County Hospital. We work as a team.”

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