Have you ever thought why you might develop heartburn or acid reflux? Truth is there could be a number of reasons for this including your lifestyle, pregnancy or because of a medical condition such as GORD or a hiatus hernia.
Causes of chronic acid reflux and heartburn
What is GORD?
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) occurs when some of the contents of your stomach leaks back into the muscular tube (your oesophagus) connecting the throat with the stomach. The acidity from your stomach’s contents can irritate your oesophagus when they come into contact which in turn, causes heartburn. Your Consultant may suggest making lifestyle changes such as adapting your diet or losing any excess weight.
Or you may be prescribed proton pump inhibitors which are medicines which work on the celles which line the stomach to reduce the production of acid. If these medical options don’t work, fundoplication surgery could be an option for you. Read our article to discover the symptoms and outlook of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD).
What is a hiatus hernia?
A hiatus hernia is a condition where part of your stomach move up into your lower chest and is more common if you’re over 50, pregnant or overweight.
The symptoms of a hiatus hernia are the same as if you have GORD:
- Experience difficulty or pain when swallowing
- Burp or feel bloated
- Have bad breath
- Bring up small amounts of food or bitter-tasting fluids (acid reflux)
- Suffer from a painful, burning feeling in your chest after eating (heartburn)
At Benenden Hospital we offer fast access to keyhole fundoplication surgery which could help to ease your symptoms.
Fundoplication surgery to treat chronic acid reflux conditions
Preparing for Fundoplication surgery
At your initial consultation at Benenden Hospital, your Consultant will discuss what the procedure involves, how to prepare for it, any potential complications and what to expect afterwards. Make sure to ask your Consultant any questions you have and you will be given time to make an informed decision.
What happens during Fundoplication surgery?
Fundoplication is usually performed as keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery under general anaesthetic. This means it’s carried out through very small incisions in your skin whilst you are asleep. If a hiatus hernia has caused GORD, your surgeon will repair this hernia first. During fundoplication surgery your surgeon will wrap the top part of your stomach around the lower end of your oesophagus and sew this into place. The amount of stomach that is wrapped around your oesophagus differs depending on what type of fundoplication surgery you get.
Recovering from Fundoplication surgery
Following surgery you may need pain relief to help with any discomfort and it is important to take this as once your pain is controlled our Nurses will encourage you to get up and move around.
If you have keyhole surgery, you’ll most likely be in the hospital for only one day. Some patients can even return home the same day. You’ll have less pain after surgery because there’s no large incision to heal. After laparoscopic surgery, most people can go back to work or their normal routine in about two to three weeks, depending on their work.
You may need to change the way you eat. For example, you may need to eat soft foods only, avoid fizzy drinks as this can increase bloating, you should chew food thoroughly and eat more slowly to give the food time to go down the oesophagus.
Speak to our specialists
Our experts offer a range of self-pay non-surgical and surgical treatments for heartburn and acid reflux to get you back to full fitness as soon as possible. We offer discreet treatment in a comfortable and reassuring environment in the heart of rural Kent.
How do I get a GP referral for a private upper GI endoscopy?
Your GP can refer you to our hospital for a private diagnostic endoscopy by completing the referral form.
Published on 21 April 2022