Dr Zehetner from Swiss1Chirurgie is one of the five best surgeons in Europe when it comes to operations on the oesophagus for reflux disease using the LINX system. In Switzerland, he is the undisputed number one in this particular field. As a consultant and preceptor for Johnson & Johnson, he is also available to assist with LINX reflux surgeries in Saudi Arabia.

It was only in July 2019 that the Swiss was called from his summer holiday in Spain to Saudi Arabia to provide the surgeons there with the specialist advice and surgical skills they were looking for in two reflux centres for the LINX Reflux Management System. The missions took place on 28 and 29 July 2019 at Prince Sultan Military Hospital in Riyadh and King Fahd Hospital of the University of Khobar, where a total of five patients were offered the required procedures.

Even though these two reflux centres in Saudi Arabia are already specialised in the surgical treatment of reflux disease, it makes a difference when international luminaries in this field support the procedures with the latest techniques and plenty of experience.

Reflux diseases must be thoroughly diagnosed

The most common symptoms of reflux disease include acid regurgitation and heartburn with chronic value. But these two symptoms alone are not enough to make an accurate diagnosis. A comprehensive clarification of the individual appearance requires a gastroscopy, testing of the oesophageal function and an acid measurement. Only the interaction of several factors makes the diagnosis of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) accurate and certain. Then it also depends on the right treatment up to surgical intervention.

Incidentally, this form of reflux disease is not only very common in the western world. This clinical picture is also very widespread in the Middle East, so that more work is being done there on training suitable surgeons and creating appropriate treatment centres. Internationally successful specialists like Dr. Zehetner are in particular demand, especially if they can prove that they have spent at least two years abroad on a fellowship as additional training.

LINX system is currently the best

For the surgical treatment of reflux disease after appropriate diagnosis, the LINX system has proven to be the best treatment method. The LINX system is a ring-shaped chain of titanium-coated magnets that is placed around the end of the oesophagus during laparoscopic surgery. This significantly limits suffering, minimises secondary damage and restores patients’ well-being.

This was also the case during the missions in the summer of 2019 in Saudi Arabia, where, with the help of Dr Zehetner from Swiss1Chirurgie, the surgical procedures were successfully performed by the Arab surgeons.

Prof. Dr. Zehetner greatly appreciates the cooperation with his colleagues from Saudi Arabia.

The expert was particularly impressed by the professionalism, the surgical skills and the outstanding hospitality of the Arab surgeons.

“Hospitality is very important here, you are generously served Arabic food, and the gratitude and appreciation is extremely high.

“The beauty of such teaching assignments is the common language that doctors and health workers all over the world speak with each other: Tolerance towards other cultures, putting the patient first, helping and healing.”


The LINX Reflux System is only offered after extensive clarification. Dr. Zehetner will inform you about the exact operation, the advantages, risks and side effects in one of his consultation hours at Swiss1Chirurgie in Bern, Brig or Solothurn.