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Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease

Dr Simon Campbell is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at BMI The Alexandra Hospital. He is regarded as one of our top Consultants specialising in gastroenterology. Here we ask him about gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and the new STRETTA treatment for this.

What is GORD (gastro-oesophageal) reflux disease?

GORD is a digestive disorder, which affects the lower oesophagus (gullet). Stomach acid is refluxed into the gullet causing symptoms of indigestion and heartburn. It is often associated with a hiatus hernia.

What are the symptoms of GORD?

The most common symptoms of GORD include heartburn, indigestion, regurgitation, nausea and occasionally chest pain, chronic cough.

What are the causes of the reflux disease?

The lower part of the gullet is wrapped by a muscle preventing reflux back up into the gullet. When this muscle is weak, reflux occurs. If the weakness is significant part of the stomach can prolapse into the chest - this is called a hiatus hernia.

Who is most at risk of GORD?

Being overweight or smoking will increase your risk of GORD. Pregnancy can also increase the risk.

How is the reflux disease diagnosed?

GORD is diagnosed usually by endoscopy (gastroscopy) and occasionally by using acid reflux monitoring.

What can you do to treat/manage GORD at home?

Lifestyle changes can often control mild GORD. Following this, medical drug therapy in the form of acid lowering tablets can be very effective.

What treatments are available for gastro oesophageal reflux disease?

When medical therapy fails, mechanical methods (surgery) are used. For example, fundoplication surgery, LINX antireflux surgery and more recently a minimally invasive treatment called STRETTA which can be performed during endoscopy.

What made you want to be a consultant?

I enjoy patient consultation, the ability to apply scientific principles to medical complaints and of course, the ability to treat patients. The practical aspects of gastroenterology encompass an ever-evolving field of endoscopy. Ultimately some endoscopic treatments are superseding minimally invasive keyhole surgery techniques. I'm sure this is the future.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Setting up STRETTA anti reflux treatment at The Alexandra Hospital. Being the first private hospital in the North West to treat patients was immensely satisfying.

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