Heartburn is a very common problem amongst the adult population. It may also be associated with the regurgitation of fluid into the mouth; particularly at night such that people may need to sleep propped up.
Whilst tablets (proton pump inhibitors; they usually have a ‘z’ in their name) are very effective at treating the symptoms of heartburn, they may not always be effective enough.
Symptoms such as heartburn and upper abdominal pain should be investigated with an endoscopy. Using local anaesthetic to the back of the throat, or under some light sedation, a telescope is passed over the back of the throat and into the oesophagus and stomach. The procedure is extremely safe and takes about 90 seconds to do. The information acquired from this test is crucial in planning effective treatment
If the stomach has moved upwards from the abdominal cavity and into the chest, then keyhole surgery is very effective at bringing the stomach back down again. This may be accompanied by applying stitches to the muscle of the diaphragm in order to prevent future migration of the stomach into the chest
In order to prevent acid reflux and therefore to remove the need to take acid suppressing tablets, the stomach can be wrapped around the oesophagus with keyhole surgery. This type of procedure is extremely effective in preventing heartburn and regurgitation of fluid