There are many conditions which, while not being life threatening, can cause great discomfort. One such condition is Gastro-oesophageal reflux. The common symptoms include chest pains and heartburn, perhaps a cough or a hoarse voice. It is the result of acidic secretions from the stomach getting access to the oesophagus. Some people may simply suffer in relative silence but it is worth seeking advice in case there is something more serious behind the condition.
A gastroscope, which is inserted down the throat, will give an idea to a specialist the extent of the problem and hence the best remedy to sort things out. A sedative or local anaesthetic is normally required before the tube is inserted. If necessary a biopsy can be taken for further analysis; it is virtually pain free and the best way to identify whether there are any cancerous cells to worry about.
Lifestyle is often the answer to Gastro-oesophageal reflux; certainly diet and smoking are contributory factors though there is medication that can be taken as a first step to reducing acid. If the condition persists, then surgery may well be the best solution to the problem, something which specialists like www.londonsurgicalgroup.co.uk can perform. A new sphincter is created to prevent reflux but that does at times result in bloating or flatulence because of the difficulty air has of escaping.
Keyhole surgery in the abdomen is the best way for the surgery to be performed. Surgery provides a solution but it may not be permanent. In future years acid levels may increase again and medication will need to be taken once more.
In the early days after an operation a patient may find difficulty in swallowing but it should be just a very temporary condition. The diet immediately after surgery should take this into account; soft foods and soups are fine, solid food a little later and no fizzy drinks. The time in hospital should not exceed a couple of days, with painkillers once the anaesthetic wears off. While this is not a test that will be used to check you are alright for release you should be able to climb the stairs comfortably before you are discharged.
That does not mean you are fit to return to work even if you are comfortable and eating and drinking normally. There is little benefit in rushing things after surgery and undoing all the good work. You will be given some simple guidelines about things to avoid for a while. Flying will certainly be one of them and you should not be driving immediately following the operation either.
There is no sense in being brave and putting up with pain. You should always consult your GP whenever you think something is wrong. You should never feel guilty for doing so even if you discover that there is no problem. If there was, and you did nothing, the consequences could be serious.