ANTI-REFLUX & HIATUS HERNIA
Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD or GERD) is a condition where contents of the stomach spill back into the oesophagus (gullet) causing symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, chest discomfort or regurgitation.
The hiatus is an opening through the diaphragm (the thin sheet which separates the chest and abdominal cavities) which allows the oesophagus to pass from the chest into the abdomen to become the stomach. The hiatus acts as a kind of valve preventing food, fluid or acid from the stomach returning back up the oesophagus. A hiatus hernia occurs when this opening becomes wider and allows the stomach to slip up into the chest which can also weaken the valve’s effectiveness.
A hiatus hernia may make gastro-oesophageal reflux more likely but these two conditions are not necessarily the same thing and some people with a hiatus hernia may have no symptoms at all, GORD symptoms or difficulty in swallowing foods.
Most patients with symptoms from GORD or hiatus hernias will have received lifestyle advice from their GP or a prescription of medication. Mr Pellen investigates symptoms that are not responding to these interventions. Such tests may include diagnostic endoscopy, tests of the function or acid levels of your gullet (oesophageal physiology) or barium swallow X-rays.
Mr Pellen performs anti-reflux surgery including the Nissen fundoplication and repair of hiatus hernias using laparoscopic surgery techniques which can improve symptoms not responding to medication or avoid need for medication altogether.