Ewen Griffiths

About Ewen Griffiths

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So far Ewen Griffiths has created 12 blog entries.

What is an OGD Procedure?

An OGD procedure, or test, is short for OesophagoGastroDuodenoscopy which is quite a mouth full to pronounce! This is a special endoscopy which views the: O – oesophagus (also known as the gullet or food pipe) G - gastro (is the medical word for stomach) and D – duodenum (this is the first part of the small bowel) The other name for this procedure is an Upper GI endoscopy – as it examines the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  The procedure is carried out in the endoscopy department and patients are advised to stop eating for 6 hours before the test to make sure the stomach is empty. An OGD procedure can be carried out awake with local anaesthetic throat spray.  Although the spray doesn't taste particularly nice (some patient's say it tastes like banana!) it is usually the safest and quickest way to have the procedure.   Sedation can be given for patients who are very [...]

2019-02-13T16:36:02+00:00 Upper GI Endoscopies|

Common questions about acid reflux and hiatus hernia surgery

Luckily, acid reflux and heartburn are usually temporary problems. However, when they become part of your daily or weekly routine it's time to seek specialist advice... At times of overindulgence, such as Christmas parties, almost everyone can suffer from acid reflux. Commonly referred to as heartburn and caused by acid coming back up the gullet from the stomach. For most patients, it's a sensation which lasts only a few minutes, but for others in can be a persistent problem with every meal. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) can affect men and women of any age and can get progressively worse.   Specialist Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon Mr Ewen Griffiths regularly performs endoscopy and operations for reflux disease or hiatus hernias. Here he answers some questions about the problem and potential solutions... Q1 At what stage would you advise someone with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease to see their GP? If someone is regularly suffering from heartburn or regurgitation. First stage [...]

2019-02-13T15:59:19+00:00 Hernia Symptoms and Surgeries|

How to find out if you need anti-reflux surgery

What to do when you get severe heartburn or indigestion: 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 pump inhibitors or PPI's. These are medications like omeprazole or lansoprazole which block the ‘acid or proton pump’ in the stomach so the stomach reduces its acid production. John had been on this medication for many years and wanted to discuss a more permanent solution to his problem with [...]

2019-02-13T16:06:32+00:00 Heartburn & Indigestion|

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 to the gullet cells, causing the change we call Barrett’s Oesophagus. Sometimes bile-containing juices in the small intestine may work their way backwards into the stomach and gullet. It is possible that this mixture of stomach and intestinal juices is more damaging to the gullet than acid alone. In normal circumstances the gullet heals [...]

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 your doctor 3. Other symptoms of cancer could be weight loss, vomiting blood, lumps in the abdomen or neck, hoarse voice Risk factors for these cancers are smoking, regular alcohol intake, male gender, Barrett's oesophagus, older age and a family history of these cancers. If you have any of these [...]

Cholecystectomy or Gallbladder Surgery

What is a 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. How do you choose a gallbladder surgeon? When choosing a gallbladder surgeon make sure that they; have the following skill sets: Perform the procedure on a regular basis - i.e more than around 50 cases per year Are skilled enough to offer emergency procedures; as usually only the most comfortable surgeons will cholecystectomy will offer emergency procedures Offer intra-operative cholangiography (this is X-ray test which can be performed at the time of surgery to check either anatomy or whether any common bile duct stones are present); again only the most expert of gallbladder surgeons will offer this procedure. Some offer this test routinely, others selectively. Have access to a team of [...]

2019-02-13T16:56:07+00:00 Gallstones|


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 is an expert in Achalasia and 1) can review or arrange diagnostic tests and 2) discuss various treatment options in the Outpatient clinic 3) offer the majority of treatment options for the condition, including revisional surgery or even oesophagectomy if required 4) offer follow-up for the rare condition.

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 treatment options are available. These treatment options include removal of the tumour by endoscopy if it is very early, surgical removal or surgical removal after chemotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy. Therefore, catching the cancer at its earliest stage is of the upmost priority. Symptoms of oesophageal or stomach cancer were highlighted by [...]

Yahoo Style

Mr Ewen Griffiths, consultant general and gastrointestinal surgeon at The Edgbaston Hospital in Birmingham wrote about Happiness in the Upper Gastrointestinal System in Yahoo Style online magazine.   Please see the link below for the article. https://uk.style.yahoo.com/heres-happens-body-youre-happy-151109563.html Your stomach They say you can eat your way to happiness by consuming the right kind of foods, but how content you are has an effect on your stomach health too. “If you are happy, your body is more likely to carefully swallow, digest and process a range of foods without any ill effects, acid reflux or indigestion,” explains Mr Ewen Griffiths, consultant general and gastrointestinal surgeon at The Edgbaston Hospital in Birmingham. “Interestingly, an unhappy mind and stress can significantly affect the gastrointestinal tract,” Dr Griffiths continues. “For example irritable bowel syndrome or indigestion and reflux are known to be much worse if you are stressed or anxious.” If you’re at all concerned he suggests getting checked by a medical [...]

2018-04-10T20:00:09+00:00 Uncategorised|

Youtube Videos on recovering from oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery and treatment

Youtube Videos on recovering from oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery and treatment Quality information on the internet on recovering from oesophageal and gastric cancer treatment is difficult to find.  I recommend these youtube videos to help understand aspects of treatment.   I hope you find them informative and interesting to watch.    Please note these patients were treated in other UK centres and not by me. Brian Papworth It took Brian a while to bring a sense of normality back into his life. He explains how little steps back into eating, drinking, walking and driving let him regain his freedom and this is part of a slow building process. It has been 3 months since Brian's surgery but with lots of encouragement he has come a long way! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-03coPhKZho John Bee John talks about the recovery process after major surgery. He mentions fatigue on exertion. John found after chemotherapy he had altered sensation in the hands, [...]

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