I have suffered with the symptoms of GERD for around 10 years and always been told I just have heartburn or that i have drank too much at the weekend. Naturally I started to believe this myself. I struggled on changing my diet and cutting down on drinking; often cutting it out altogether, but the symptoms persisted. Eventually I had enough. I decided to change my doctor and start a fresh. This doctor seemed to take me more seriously and prescribed me Lansoprazole. The meds were great! Suddenly there was no more burning sensation. Unfortunately though, this did not stop me regurgitation food up to 5 times a day. After going on a family holiday and forgetting my medication I decided that something more permanent had to be done as, whilst the holiday was not ruined, it stopped me from enjoying myself fully.
I went back to my doctor to see if anything could be done and she booked me in for a Barium Swallow. This was a strange experience that involves drinking a thick white liquid and then having a number of X-Rays taken with your body at a serious of angles. This test revealed that alongside my reflux I was also suffering with a Hiatus Hernia. To check on the wellbeing of my oesophagus I was booked in for a Gastroscopy and a 24-hour Oesophageal PH Monitor Examination. The Gastroscopy is performed with an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible, telescope. It is about
as thick as a little finger. The endoscope is passed through the mouth, into the oesophagus and down towards the stomach and duodenum.
The tip of the endoscope contains a light and a tiny video camera so the doctor can see inside your gut. The 24-hour Oesophageal PH Monitor Exam is done with a thin, plastic tube with a sensor that measures the amount of acid backing up into the esophagus. It is the most sensitive test for diagnosing GERD. The doctor inserts a tube through the nose, and the patient swallows it until it enters the esophagus. The tube is attached to a Walkman-size box that measures how often and for how long stomach acid reaches the esophagus in a 24-hour period. During this time, a patient will keep a record of symptoms. The data from the monitor is analyzed to determine the frequency of reflux, and the association of those reflux episodes to patient symptoms.
When all my results were collated I was called in to discuss my options. I was told that the best course of action would be Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. During the fundoplication surgery, the surgeon improves the natural barrier between the stomach and the oesophagus by wrapping a part of the stomach known as the gastric fundus around the lower oesophagus. This prevents the flow of acids from the stomach into the oesophagus, and strengthens the valve between the oesophagus and stomach, which stops acid from backing up into the oesophagus as easily.
I received a letter though asking me to go into hospital for a Preoperative Assessment. That appointment was booked for today. During my appointment I was measured, weighed and had my blood pressure taken. I was also asked to swab myself to check for MRSA. Then I was taken into another room where I sat with a nurse and answered a whole series of health questions and signed some forms. I then had a succession of blood test and was told to expect my appointment date to be confirmed within the next week.
I will update as and when more happens.
Post Edited (Jix) : 1/25/2012 11:11:43 AM (GMT-7)