Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)
What is GORD / Chronic Reflux?
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition, where the contents of the stomach (partially digested food, stomach acid and bile) leak up the food pipe (the oesophagus). It may be described by doctors as heartburn, reflux or regurgitation and is defined as GORD when it is happening frequently (chronic) rather than an occasional nuisance.
A person with GORD may describe their symptoms as a burning pain in their chest or a persistent unpleasant taste in their throat after eating (patients report a sour, burning or chemical taste). They may experience belching, a sensation of bringing up a little food in the throat or even vomiting after eating. Some report difficulty swallowing or a ‘lump in the throat’ sensation. Other (less common) symptoms of GORD are hoarseness, sore throats, coughs and coughing, worsening of asthma and even dental erosion.
These symptoms can significantly impact a patient’s day to day quality of life, but there are also long term health complications to consider. Over time, GORD can damage the food pipe and lead to a condition called Barrett’s Oesophagus (affecting ~15% GORD patients) where the soft, pink lining of the food pipe becomes thick and red. The longer a person has reflux, the higher the risk of Barrett’s – which also increases the risk of oesophageal cancer. A growing number of GORD patients are looking at surgery or non-surgical procedures to treat the condition permanently.
Dr Haidry was the first Endoscopist to Introduce the Tarns-oral incisionless fundipication 2.0 to Europe and the UK for patients with GORD.
Questions and Appointments
For any enquiries about conditions, tests or treatments, please feel free to call Dr Rehan Haidry’s medical secretary Debra Hyams.
People with GORD may wish to see a specialist, a gastroenterologist, to better understand the severity of their condition and their treatment options. Bravo pH testing is the most cutting edge test available; a minimally invasive investigation that involves placement of a temporary capsule in the food pipe to measure how often stomach contents reflux into the oesophagus and how high the acidity levels are. This creates a highly accurate picture of the severity of the condition.
The patient can also have a gastroscopy – a test to look inside the food pipe (oesophagus) and the stomach to investigate. This involves an endoscope (a thin flexible tube with a tiny camera) to look at the cell lining and see if there is signs of Barrett’s Oesophagus, biopsy cells (take a small sample for testing) or look for any problems that might be causing GORD, such as a hiatal hernia.
Have a question?
If you have a question and would like to find out more, please contact Dr. Haidry’s secretary
The first step is lifestyle modifications – such as avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, reducing alcohol and stopping smoking – if GORD persists then over-the-counter antacids (such as Gaviscon) can provide relief.
If symptoms persist, a patient’s GP may prescribe PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) and/or H2 receptor antagonists, these drugs neutralise the stomach acid to minimise symptoms and are commonly prescribed (the NHS currently spends half a billion on these prescriptions) – but research has shown that long term use of some heartburn drugs has been linked to kidney disease, dementia and heart attack risk, which is why many patients are exploring long term solutions to GORD.
If a patient has been on heartburn drugs for a year and they are still symptomatic their GP should refer them to see a gastroenterologist, as this means the acid environment is still damaging the oesophagus which can increase the likelihood of developing Barrett’s Oesophagus or even Oesophageal Cancer in a minority of cases.
Dr Rehan Haidry is an experienced Consultant Gastroenterologist and interventional endoscopist, considered one of the country’s leading experts in GORD and offers a range of tests, therapies and treatments so patients are able to make informed and confident decisions about their care. Dr Haidry is the only doctor in Europe who offers a pioneering new alternative to anti-reflux surgery (called TIF).
GORD surgery or TIF?
During anti-reflux surgery (commonly performed on the NHS for patients with GORD or Barrett’s Oesophagus) incisions are made in the abdomen and the surgeon wraps the stomach around the lowest portion of the food pipe to control reflux/regurgitation into the oesophagus (which means the cell lining damage is reduced and therefore the risk of oesophageal cancer developing). However this surgery is not without its side effects – the patient also loses the ability to belch (thereby increasing bloating/flatulence) and vomit which some patients find distressing. Some encounter swallowing issues.
Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) is an advanced endoscopy procedure where Dr Haidry mimics what the surgeons do but in a minimally invasive way. It is all performed via endoscope and takes less than 30 minutes. The bottom of the food pipe is pushed into the stomach and stitched into place creating a new ‘anti reflux valve’ for the patient that prevents stomach contents leaking up. Unlike anti-reflex surgery the patient can still burp/vomit which many patients find reassuring.
TIF recovery is quick – most people are back home within 1 day and back at work within 4 days and it’s very safe, less than 0.5% patients will experience a serious problem. Studies have shown that for up to five years after the TIF procedure, GORD symptoms are significantly reduced and ~80% patients can stop taking daily heartburn drugs.
The TIF procedure reduces the chronic acid reflux and reduces the harm to the cell lining (which may have turned cancerous over time).
Get In Touch
For any enquiries about conditions, tests or treatments, please feel free to call Dr Rehan Haidry’s medical secretary Debra Hyams on:
Tel: 0203 423 7609 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org