If you have ever suffered from gastro-oesophageal reflux you’ll know how important it is to treat this condition. Also just known as acid reflux, gastro-oesophageal reflux happens when the oesophagus is exposed to acid overflow from the stomach. Around 10 percent of people in the UK suffer from the condition, and symptoms include heartburn and indigestion. Up to 50 percent of the population will be affected by gastro-oesophageal reflux at one point in their life. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition, and any other underlying health problems. London doctors answer questions about how this condition is identified, treated, and managed:
1. What are the Symptoms of Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux?
Common symptoms of this distressing condition, according to the londonsurgicalgroup.co.uk, include heartburn, acid brash or acid overflow, regurgitation, chest pain, irritating cough, and hoarseness of the voice.
2. Why Does Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Happen?
The cause of this condition is the failure of the protective barrier that normally separates the stomach and the oesophagus. When this barrier is not as tight as it should be, or it is not working properly, it allows the contents of the stomach to pass into the oesophagus. It is a common condition and it does not result in serious complications, but if there is an underlying health condition causing the problem it can result in difficulties.
3. How is the Condition Managed?
Usually, the first step to managing this condition is to make lifestyle changes that impact on the severity of the condition. For example, being obese and smoking make gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms worse. Other dietary factors are also a consideration. Pregnancy can make symptoms worse, too. Patients normally try acid suppression medicine to see if this has an effect. If not, or if medication is not tolerated or able to be taken, surgery is a consideration.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux surgery in London is an option if the condition does not respond to treatment. Surgery is effective and usually patients do not need to take any further acid management medication. When it comes to anti reflux surgery London provides a great deal of choice, from treatment on the NHS to treatment at private clinics.
5. Are There Risks Associated with the Surgery?
The complications that can occur following surgery include stomach bloating, and possible increased flatulence. It helps to avoid drinking fizzy drinks and also to skip certain foods if they have an effect on bloating and wind. After the surgery the patient is no longer able to vomit, although this does not normally present a risk. There may be difficulty swallowing food immediately after the surgery but this will decrease over time and will not present a long term risk.