Articles

Articles 2018-09-12T14:34:54+00:00
2410, 2018

What to do when you get severe heartburn or indigestion

How to find out if you need anti-reflux surgery: John came to my clinic recently to discuss his heartburn. Medically this is known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. It's when acid from the stomach ‘refluxes’ up the oesophagus and causes symptoms. John was finding his symptoms of burning in the lower chest were made worse after: Eating a large meal, Drinking lots of tea or coffee At night when lying down in bed Some patients occasionally taste acid at the back of their throats especially when bending over. Like many patients, John had been to his GP to discuss the issue and been put on ‘proton [...]

310, 2018

Barrett’s oesophagus

What is Barrett’s Oesophagus? Barrett’s Oesophagus is a condition where the normal lining, coating the lower part of the gullet (oesophagus) changes to being a different lining which is more like than found in the stomach or intestine. This condition was named after a London surgeon called Norman Barrett in the 1950’s. He was among the first to discover it. What causes Barrett’s Oesophagus? The cause of the condition is not known. It is believed that many years of reflux of stomach contents into the gullet (sometimes perceived as heartburn) causes injury to the lining of the gullet (oesophagitis). This inflammation may lead to damage [...]

809, 2018

Oesophago-gastric cancer

One of my main interests is oesophageal and gastric cancer. Compared to other cancers the prognosis isn't great and doesn't seem to be improving like it is in other countries for some reason. One of the ways we can improve the prognosis is to catch the disease at a much earlier stage. Echoing the main messages of the UK Governments 'Be clear on cancer' campaign from 2015, the main messages were 1. Having heartburn, most days, for 3 weeks or more could be a sign of cancer – tell your doctor 2. Food sticking when you swallow could be a sign of cancer – tell [...]

1208, 2018

Gallbladder Surgery (also called Cholecystectomy)

Cholecystectomy or surgical removal of the gallbladder was previously a 'general surgical' operation that the majority of general surgeons would offer. Nowadays, however, its considered a specialist procedure because in some cases it can be a challenging and difficult procedure. When choosing a gallbladder surgeon make sure that they; have the following skill sets: 1) perform the procedure on a regular basis - i.e more than around 50 cases per year 2) are skilled enough to offer emergency procedures; as usually only the most comfortable surgeons will cholecystectomy will offer emergency procedures 3) offer intra-operative cholangiography (this is X-ray test which can be performed at [...]

1208, 2018

Achalasia

Achalasia is a rare disorder of the food pipe (oesophagus), which can make it difficult to swallow food and drink. Normally, the muscles of the oesophagus contract to squeeze food along towards the stomach. Unfortunately, it is very rare and is often misdiagnosed and treated. Most GPs will only see one case in their life time. Mr Griffiths offers the following treatments for Achalasia - Botox injections - Therapeutic balloon dilatation - Laparoscopic Heller's myotomy Each treatment options has certain advantages and disadvantages and these are detailed on this table. Please see the following links to get you understand Achalasia https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/achalasia/ https://www.opa.org.uk/downloads/achalasia/achalasia-leaflet.pdf https://www.opa.org.uk/downloads/achalasia/patient-guide-to-achalasia-2018.pdf Mr Griffiths [...]

1004, 2018

Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Month February 2018

Mr Ewen Griffiths, Consultant Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon at QEHB has marked oesophageal cancer awareness month this February by writing the following article on oesophageal cancer and how patients are supported at QEHB.  https://www.qehb.org/oesophageal-cancer-awareness-month-2018 February is oesophageal cancer awareness month.   Many cancer charities come together on this month to raise public awareness of oesophageal cancer. These charities, include Cancer Research UK, Oesophageal Patients Association, Ochre, Barratt’s oesophagus campaign, Action Against Heartburn amongst many others. Oesophageal cancer is a devastating cancer which usually affects the lower oesophagus.   Unfortunately it usually present late when curable treatment option are limited. When the cancer is caught earlier, however, more curable [...]

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